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" Memoirs of the Empress Josephine." 2 vols. 
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T jift ri jg.rn ond necklac e — Account of Boehmer the jeweller 
— His interview with Madame Campan — The Cardinal 
de Rohan interrogated in the King's Cabinet — Particulars 
relative to Madame de Lamotte and her family — Steps 
taken by the Cardinal's relations — The prosecution — The 
clergy remonstrate — Decree of the Parliament — The 
Queen's grief — Remark of Louis XVI i 


The Archbishop of Sens is appointed to the Ministry — The 
Abbe de Vermond's joy on the occasion — The Queen is 
obliged to take a part in public business — Money sent 
to Vienna contrary to her inclination — Anecdotes — The 
Queen supports the Archbishop of Sens in office — Public 
rejoicings on his dismissal — Opening of the States- 
General — Cries of "Vive le Due d' Orleans ! " — Their 
effect upon the Queen — Mirabeau — He requests an em- 
bassy — The Queen's misfortunes induce her to yield to 
superstitious fears — Anecdotes — Prejudices of the pro- 
vincial deputies of the Tiers-Etat — Causes of these 
prejudices — Death of the first Dauphin — Anecdotes . 22 


Oath of the tennis court — Insurrection of the 14th of July — 
The King goes to the National Assembly — Anecdotes — 
Spectacle presented by the courtyard of the Castle of 
Versailles — Report that the National Assembly is threat- 
ened — The King's speech rebutting these odious suspi- 
cions — Anecdotes — Disposition of the troops — Departure 
of the Count d'Artois, the Prince de Conde and the Duke 
and Duchess de Polignac — The latter is recognised by a 
postilion, who saves her — The King goes to Paris — Alarm 
at Versailles — The Queen determines to go to the Na- 
tional Assembly — Affecting speech prepared by her — The 
King's return — Bailly's speech — Assassination of MM. 
Foulon and Berthier — Plans presented by M. Foulon to 
the King for arresting the progress of the Revolution — 
Horrid remark by Barnave — His repentance ... 37 

VOL. II b 



Creation of the National Guard — Departure of the Abbe de 
Vermond — The French guards quit Versailles — Enter- 
tainment given by the body-guards to the regiment of 
Flanders — The King, the Queen and the Dauphin are 
present at it— Proceedings of the 5th and 6th of October 
— Detestable threats against the Queen — Devotedness of 
one of the body-guard — The life of Marie Antoinette in 
danger — The Royal Family repair to Paris — Residence at 
the Tuileries — Change of feeling — The Queen applauded 
with enthusiasm by the women of the populace — Private 
life — Ingenuous observations of the Dauphin — Affecting 
anecdote — It is proposed to the Queen to quit her family 
and France — Her noble refusal — She devotes her atten- 
tion to the education of her children — Picture of the 
Court — Anecdote respecting Luckner — Exasperating state 
of feeling 53 


Affair of Favras — His prosecution and death — His children 
are imprudently presented to the Queen — Plan laid for 
carrying off the Royal Family — Singular letter from the 
Empress Catherine to Louis XVI. — The Queen is un- 
willing to owe the re-establishment of the throne to the 
emigres — Death of the Emperor Joseph II. — First nego- 
tiation between the Court and Mirabeau — Louis XVI. 
and his family inhabit St. Cloud — New plans for escaping 83 


First federation — Attempts to assassinate the Queen — Re- 
markable observations of that Princess — Affecting scene 
— Account of the affair of Nancy, written by Madame 
Campan at night in the Council Chamber, by the King's 
dictation — Madame Campan calumniated — Marks of con- 
fidence bestowed upon her by the Queen — Interview 
between that Princess and Mirabeau in the gardens of 
St. Cloud — He treats with the Court — Scoffs at the 
revolutionary party — Plan formed by the Princess for 
re-entering France through Lyons — Imprudence of 
persons attached to the Queen — Anecdote relative to 
M. de la Fayette — Departure of the King's aunts — 
Death of Mirabeau 98 


Preparations for the journey to Varennes — The Queen 
watched and betrayed — Madame Campan's departure for 
Auvergne precedes that of the Royal Family for Ver- 
sailles^ — Madame Campan hears of the King's arrest — 


Note written to her by the Queen immediately upon her 
return to Paris — Anecdotes — Measures taken for keeping 
the King at the Tuileries — -The Queen's hair turns white 
from grief — Barnave gains the esteem and confidence of 
Marie Antoinette during the return from Versailles — His 
honourable and respectful conduct : she contrasts it with 
that of Petion — Anecdote honourable to Barnave — -His 
advice to the Queen — Particulars respecting the Va- 
rennes journey . . . . . . . . . 115 


Acceptance of the Constitution — Opinion of Barnave and his 
friends approved of by the Court of Vienna — Secret 
policy of the Court — The Legislative Assembly de- 
liberates upon the ceremony to be observed on receiving 
the King — Offensive motion — Louis XVI. is received by 
the Assembly with transport — He gives way to profound 
grief when with his family — Public fetes and rejoicings — 
M. de Montmorin's conversation with Madame Campan 
upon the continued indiscretions of the people about the 
Court — The Royal Family go to the Theatre Francais — ' 
Play changed — Personal conflicts in the pit of the 
Italiens — Double correspondence of the Court with 
foreign Powers — Maison Civile — Method adopted by the 
Queen respecting her secret correspondence — Madame 
Campan's conduct when attacked by both parties — 
Particulars respecting the conduct of M. Genet, her 
brother, charge d'affaires from France to Russia — Written 
testimony of the Queen in favour of Madame Campan's 
zeal and fidelity — The King comes to see her and con- 
firms these marks of confidence and satisfaction — Pro- 
jected interview between Louis XVI. and Barnave — 
Attempts to poison Louis XVI. — Precautions taken — The 
Queen consults Pitt about the Revolution — His reply — 
The emigres oppose all alliance with the Constitutionals — 
Letter from Barnave to the Queen . . . . . 134 


Fresh libel by Madame de Lamotte — The Queen refuses to 
purchase the manuscript — The King buys it — The Queen 
performs her Easter devotions secretly in 1792 — She 
dares not confide in General Dumouriez — Barnave's last 
advice — Gross insult offered to the Queen by one of the 
mob — The King's dejection — The 20th of June — The 
King's kindness to Madame Campan — Iron closet — 
Louis XVI. entrusts a portfolio to Madame Campan — 
Importance of the documents it contained — Procedure of 
M. de la Fayette ; why it is unsuccessful — An assassin 
conceals himself in the Queen's apartments . . . 165 



Madame Campan's communications with M. Bertrand de 
Molleville for the King's service- — Hope of a speedy 
deliverance — The Queen's reflections upon the character 
of Louis XVI. — Insults — Enquiry set on foot by the 
Princess de Lamballe respecting the persons of the 
Queen's household — The Tenth of August — Curious 
particulars — Battle — Scenes of carnage — The Royal 
Family at the Feuillans 192 


Petion refuses Madame Campan permission to be confined in 
the Temple with the Queen — She excites the suspicions 
of Robespierre — Domiciliary visits — Madame Campan 
opens the portfolio she had received from the King — 
Papers in it, with the Seals of State — Mirabeau's secret 
correspondence with the Court — It is destroyed, as well 
as the other papers — The only document preserved — It 
is delivered to M. de Malesherbes, upon the trial of the 
unfortunate Louis XVI. — End of the Memoirs . . . 222 


From the Committal to the Temple to the Death 
of Louis XVI. 

Committal of the Royal Family to the Temple — Removal of 
the Princess de Lamballe — Description of the Temple — 
Apartments occupied — Attendance — Expenses — Extract 
from Clery's Journal — Habits of the Royal Family — 
Studies — Massacres in the prisons of Paris — Murder of 
the Princess de Lamballe — Brutality of the mob — Suffer- 
ings of the Royal Family — Abolition of Royalty — Trial of 
Louis XVI. — Separation from his family — His execution 
— Destruction of his remains ...... 233 


From the Death of Louis XVI. to the Release of 
Madame Royale. 

Increased sufferings of the Royal Family after the execution 
of Louis XVI. ; from Thiers' History — The Dauphin 
committed to the care of Simon, the shoemaker — Separa- 
tion of the Family — Marie Antoinette committed to the 
Conciergerie — Her privations — She is brought before the 
revolutionary tribunal — Accusations against her — Her 
conviction — Execution — Joy of the Jacobins — Execution 
of Madame Elizabeth — Extract from the Memoirs of the 
Duchess d'Angouleme ; from Alison — Death of the 
Dauphin — Release of his sister — Successors of Louis XVI. 263 

Recollections, Sketches and Anecdotes, by Madame Campan 279 
Historical Illustrations by Madame Campan . . 336 

Historical Illustrations and Official Documents . . . 368 





The diamond necklace — Account of Boehmer the jeweller — His 
interview with Madame Campan — The Cardinal de Rohan 
interrogated in the King's Cabinet — Particulars relative to 
Madame de Lamotte and her family — Steps taken by the 
Cardinal's relations — The prosecution — The clergy remonstrate 
— Decree of the Parliament — The Queen's grief — Remark of 
Louis XVI. 

Shortly after the public mind had been highly- 
excited by the performance of the Marriage of Figaro, 
an obscure plot, contrived by swindlers and matured in 
the haunts of dark depravity, implicated the Queen's 
character in a vital point, and directly assailed the 
majesty and honour of the throne. 

I mean the celebrated affair of the bracelet, pur- 
chased, as it was said, for the Queen by the Cardinal 
de Rohan. I will relate every circumstance that came 
to my knowledge respecting this business; the most 
minute particulars will prove how little reason the 
Queen had to apprehend the blow with which she was 
threatened, and which must be attributed to a fatality 
that human prudence could not have foreseen, though 


prudence might have been more successfully exerted to 
extricate Her Majesty from the consequences of this 
unfortunate affair. 1 

I have already said that in 1774 the Queen purchased 
jewels of Boehmer to the value of 360,000 francs, that she 
paid for them out of her own private funds, and that it 
required several years to enable her to complete the pay- 
ment. The King afterwards presented her with a set of 
rubies and diamonds of a fine water, and subsequently 
with a pair of bracelets worth 200,000 francs. The Queen 
after having her diamonds reset in new patterns, told 
Boehmer that she found her jewel-case rich enough and 
was not desirous of making any addition to it ; still the 
jeweller busied himself for some years in forming a 
collection of the very first diamonds circulating in 

1 In order to comprehend the account about to be given by 
the authoress of the Memoirs, and to appreciate her historical 
testimony on this subject, the reader should be in possession of 
the leading facts. There are many remarkable circumstances 
which, though connected with Madame Campan's narrative, do 
not form part of it, because she speaks only of what she herself 
well knew. A great number of persons acted base or culpable 
parts in this shameful drama ; it is necessary to be acquainted 
with them. No one knew the whole affair better than the Abbe 
Georgel, but at the same time no one was more devoted to the 
Cardinal de Rohan, or showed more ingenuity in discovering 
means of defending him, or greater skill in throwing with 
artfully affected delicacy a false light upon the irreproachable 
conduct of a Princess exposed to the most shocking suspicions, 
either through the blind credulity or the depravity of a Prince 
of the Church. The Abbe shows in this part of his Memoirs a 
respectful hatred (if we may be allowed the expression) of Marie 
Antoinette. He supposes the Queen to have been aware of the 
transaction at a time when she was still wrapt in all the security 
of a woman whose imagination could not even conceive the idea 
of such a masterpiece of intrigue. In the Historical Illustrations 
(A), we give a copious extract from Georgel's Memoirs. The 
reader who is desirous of information and of forming a judgment 
upon this subject is recommended to glance over this extract 
first, in order to observe in what points the assertions it contains 
are rendered doubtful, and how far they are utterly confuted by 
Madame Campan's testimony. — Note by the Editor. 


commerce, in order to compose a necklace of several 
rows which he hoped to induce Her Majesty to 
purchase. He brought it to M. Campan, requesting 
him to mention it to the Queen, that she might 
ask to see it and thus be excited to wish to possess 
it. This M. Campan refused to do, telling him 
that he should be overstepping the line of his duty 
were he to propose to the Queen an expense of 
1,600,000 francs, and that he believed that neither 
the lady of honour nor the tire-woman would take 
upon herself to execute such a commission. Bcehmer 
persuaded the King's first gentleman for the year 
to show this superb necklace to His Majesty, who 
admired it so much that he himself wished to 
see the Queen adorned with it, and sent the case to 
her ; but she assured him she should much regret 
the incurring of so great an expense for such an 
article ; that she had already very beautiful diamonds ; 
that jewels of that description were not now worn 
at that Court more than four or five times a year; 
that the necklace must be returned, and that the 
money would be much better employed in building 
a man-of-war. 1 Bcehmer, in deep tribulation at find- 
ing his expectations delusive, endeavoured, as it is 
said, for some time to dispose of his necklace among 
the various Courts of Europe, but without meeting 

1 " Messrs. Boehmer and Bassange, jewellers to the Crown, 
were proprietors of a superb diamond necklace, which had, as 
it was said, been intended for the Countess du Barry. Being 
under the necessity of selling it, they offered it, during the 
last war, to the King and Queen ; but Their Majesties gave 
the jewellers the following prudent answer : ' We have more 
need of ships than of diamonds.'" ("Secret Correspondence of the 
Court of Louis XVI."). — Note by the Editor. 

I — 2 


with any person willing to become the purchaser of 
an article of such value. A year after his fruitless 
attempts Bcehmer again caused his diamond necklace 
to be offered for sale to the King, proposing that it 
should be paid for partly by instalments, and partly 
in life annuities. This proposal was represented as 
highly advantageous, and the King mentioned the 
matter once more to the Queen ; this was in my 
presence. I remember the Queen told him that, if 
the purchase was really not inconvenient, he might 
make it, and keep the necklace until the marriage 
of one of his children ; but that, for her part, she 
would never wear it, being unwilling that the world 
should have to reproach her with having coveted 
so expensive an article. The King replied that their 
children were too young to justify such an expense, 
which would be greatly increased by the number of 
years the diamonds would remain useless, and that he 
would finally decline the offer. Bcehmer complained 
to everybody of his misfortune, and all reasonable 
people blamed him for having collected diamonds 
to so considerable an amount without any positive 
order for them. This man had purchased the office 
of jeweller to the Crown, which gave him the right 
of entry at Court. After several months spent in 
ineffectual attempts to carry his point, and in idle 
complaints, he obtained an audience of the Queen, 
who had with her the youngest Princess, her daughter. 
Her Majesty did not know for what purpose Bcehmer 
sought this audience, and had not the slightest idea 
that it was to speak to her again about an article 
twice refused by herself and the King. 


Boehmer threw himself on his knees, clasped his 
hands, burst into tears, and exclaimed, " Madam, I 
am ruined and disgraced if you do not purchase my 
necklace. I cannot outlive my misfortunes. When 
I go hence I shall throw myself into the river." 
" Rise, Boehmer," said the Queen, in a tone suffi- 
ciently severe to call him to himself; "I do not 
like these rhapsodies ; honest men have no occasion 
to fall on their knees to make their requests. If you 
were to destroy yourself I should regret you as a 
madman in whom I had taken an interest, but I 
should not be responsible for that misfortune. I not 
only never ordered the article which causes your 
present despair, but whenever you have talked to 
me about fine collections of jewels, I have told 
you that I should not add four diamonds to those 
which I already possessed. I told you myself that I 
declined taking the necklace ; the King wished to 
give it to me, but I refused him also : then never 
mention it to me again. Divide it, and endeavour 
to sell it piecemeal, and do not drown yourself. I 
am very angry with you for acting this scene of 
despair in my presence, and before this child. Let 
me never see you behave thus again. Go ! " Boehmer 
withdrew, overwhelmed with confusion, and nothing 
further was then heard of him. 

When Madame Sophie was born, the Queen in- 
formed me that M. de Saint-James 1 had apprised her 
that Boehmer was still intent upon the sale of his 
necklace, and that Her Majesty ought, for her own 
satisfaction, to endeavour to learn what the man had 

i A rich financier. — Note by Madame Campan. 


done with it. She desired me not to forget, the first 
time I should meet him, to speak to him about it, as 
if from the interest I took in his welfare. I spoke to 
him about his necklace, and he told me he had been 
very fortunate, having sold it at Constantinople for the 
favourite Sultana. I communicated this answer to the 
Queen, who was delighted with it, but could not com- 
prehend how the Grand Seignior came to purchase 
his diamonds at Paris. 

The Queen for a long time avoided seeing Bcehmer, 
being fearful of his rash character ; and her valet dc 
chambre, who had the care of her jewels, did the neces- 
sary repairs to her ornaments unassisted. On the 
baptism of the Duke d'Angouleme, the King made him 
a present of a diamond epaulette and buckles, and 
directed Bcehmer to deliver them to the Queen. 
Bcehmer presented them to Her Majesty upon her 
return from Mass, and at the same time gave into 
her hands a letter in the form of a petition. In this 
paper he told the Queen that he was happy to see 
her " in possession of the finest diamonds known in 
Europe, and entreated her not to forget him." The 
Queen read Bcehmer's address to her aloud, and saw 
nothing in it but a proof of mental aberration, being 
unable otherwise to account for his complimenting 
her upon the beauty of her diamonds, and begging 
her not to forget him. She lighted the note at a 
wax taper standing near her, as she had some letters 
to seal, saying, " It is not worth keeping." She 
afterwards much regretted the loss of this enigmatical 
memorial. 1 After having burnt the paper, Her Majesty 
i The reader will compare the clear and simple particulars with 


said to me, " That man is born to be my torment ; 
he has always some mad scheme in his head. Re- 
member, the first time you see him, to tell him that 
I do not like diamonds now, and that I will buy no 
more as long as I live ; that if I had any money to 
spare, I would rather add to my property at St. 
Cloud by the purchase of the land surrounding it. 
Now, mind you enter into all these particulars, and 
impress them well upon him." I asked her whether 
she wished me to send for him. She replied in the 
negative, adding that it would be sufficient to avail 
myself of the first opportunity afforded by meeting 
with him, and that the slightest advance towards 
such a man would be injudicious. 

On the i st of August I left Versailles for my 
country house ; on the 3rd came Boehmer, extremely 
uneasy at not having received any answer from the 
Queen, to ask me whether I had any commission from 
her to him. I replied that she had entrusted me with 
none ; that she had no commands for him ; and I 
faithfully repeated all she had desired me to say to 
him. " But," said Boehmer, " the answer to the 
letter I presented to her — to whom must I apply for 
that ? " " To nobody," answ r ered I. " Her Majesty 
burnt your memorial without even comprehending its 
meaning." "Ah! madam," exclaimed he, "that is 
impossible ; the Queen knows she has money to pay 

that part of the Abbe Georgel's Memoirs in which he supposes 
the Queen to have been long aware of the purchase of the neck- 
lace. Was it, then, in Bcehmer's obscure expressions that she 
could fathom an intrigue so complicated, so scandalous and so 
foreign to her imagination, deeply affecting as it did her dignity 
and her person ? — Note by the Editor. 


me!" " Money, M. Bcehmer ? Your last accounts 
against the Queen were discharged long ago." " How, 
madam ? are you not in the secret ? A man who is 
ruined for want of payment of 1,500,000 francs can 
hardly be said to be satisfied." " Have you lost 
your senses ? " said I ; " for what can the Queen owe 
you so extravagant a sum ? " " For the necklace, 
madam," replied Bcehmer, coolly. " How ? " returned 
I ; " that necklace, again, about which you have teased 
the Queen so many years ! Did you not tell me you 
had sold it at Constantinople ? " " The Queen desired 
me to give that answer to all who should speak to 
me on the subject," said the wretched dupe. He then 
told me that the Queen had determined to have the 
necklace, and had had it purchased for her by the 
Cardinal de Rohan. "You are deceived!" I exclaimed; 
" the Queen has not once spoken to the Cardinal since 
his return from Vienna ; there is not a man at her 
Court less favourably looked upon." "You are deceived 
yourself, madam," said Bcehmer ; " she must see him 
in private, for it was to His Eminence that she gave 
30,000 francs, which were paid me on account. She 
took them, in his presence, out of the little secretaire 
of Sevres porcelain next the fireplace in her boudoir." 
"And the Cardinal told you all this?" "Yes, madam, 
himself." "What a detestable plot!" cried I. "Indeed, 
to say the truth, madam, I begin to be much alarmed, for 
His Eminence assured me that the Queen would wear 
the necklace on Whit-Sunday; but I did not see it upon 
her, and it was that which induced me to write to Her 
Majesty." He then asked me what he ought to do. I 
advised him to go on to Versailles, instead of returning 


to Paris, from whence he had just arrived ; to obtain an 
immediate audience from the Baron de Breteuil, who, 
as the head of the King's household, was the minister 
of the department to which Bcehmer belonged, and to 
be circumspect ; and I added that he appeared to me 
extremely culpable, not as a diamond merchant, but 
because, being a sworn officer, he had acted without 
the direct orders of the King, the Queen or the 
minister. He answered that he had not acted without 
direct • orders ; that he had in his possession all the 
notes signed by the Queen, and that he had even 
been obliged to show them to several bankers in order 
to induce them to extend the time for his payments. 
I hastened his departure for Versailles, and he assured 
me that he would go thither immediately. Instead of 
following my advice, he went to the Cardinal ; and it 
was of this visit of Boehmer's that His Eminence made 
a memorandum, found in a drawer overlooked by the 
Abbe Georgel when he burnt, by order of His Emi- 
nence, all the papers which the latter had at Paris. 
The memorandum was thus worded: "On this day, 
3rd of August, Bcehmer went to Madame Campan's 
country house, and she told him that the Queen 
had never had his necklace, and that he had been 

When Bcehmer was gone I was anxious to follow 
him and go to the Queen at Trianon. My father-in-law 
prevented me, and ordered me to leave the minister to 
elucidate an affair of such importance, observing that 
it was an infernal plot, that I had advised Bcehmer 
very properly, and had nothing more to do with the 


After seeing the Cardinal, Bcehmer did not go to 
the Baron de Breteuil, but went to Trianon, and sent 
a message to the Queen purporting that I had advised 
him to come back and speak to her. His very words 
were repeated to Her Majesty, who said, "He is mad; 
I have nothing to say to him, and will not see him." 
Two or three days afterwards she sent for me to Tria- 
non. I found her alone in her boudoir. She talked to 
me of various trifles, but all the while I was answering 
her I was thinking of the necklace and seeking for an 
opportunity of telling her what had been said to me 
about it, till at length she said, " Do you know that 
that idiot, Bcehmer, has been here asking to speak to 
me, and saying that you advised him to do so ? I re- 
fused to receive him," continued the Queen. " What 
does he want — have you any idea ? " I then communi- 
cated what the man had said to me, which I thought 
it my duty not to withhold, whatever pain it might give 
me to mention such infamous affairs to her. She made 
me relate several times the whole of my conversation 
with Bcehmer, and complained bitterly of the vexation 
she felt for the circulation of forged notes signed with 
her name, but she could not conceive how the Cardinal 
could be involved in the affair ; this was a labyrinth 
to her, and her mind was lost in it. She immediately 
sent for the Abbe de Vermond and the Baron de 
Breteuil. Bcehmer had never said one word to me 
about the woman De Lamotte, and her name was 
mentioned for the first time by the Cardinal in his 
answers to the interrogatories put to him before the 

For several days the Queen, in concert with 


the Baron and the Abbe, consulted what was 
proper to be done on the occasion. Unfortunately, 
an inveterate and implacable hatred for the Cardinal 
rendered these two counsellors the men of all others 
the most likely to lead Her Majesty out of the 
line of conduct she ought to have pursued. They 
. only contemplated the utter ruin of their enemy 
at Court, and his disgrace in the eyes of all 
Europe ; and never considered how circumspectly 
such " a delicate affair required to be managed. 
If the Queen had called in the Count de Vergennes 
to advise, his experience of men and things would 
have induced him at once to pronounce that a 
swindling transaction, in which the august name of 
Marie Antoinette might be compromised, ought to be 
hushed up. 

On the 15th of August the Cardinal, who was 
already dressed in his pontifical garments, was sent for 
at noon into the King's closet, where the Queen then 
was. The King said to him, " You have purchased 
diamonds of Boehmer?" "Yes, Sire." "What have 
you done with them ? " "I thought they had been 
delivered to the Queen." " Who commissioned you? " 
" A lady, called the Countess de Lamotte-Valois, 
who handed me a letter from the Queen, and I thought 
I was gratifying Her Majesty by taking this business 
on myself." The Queen here interrupted him, and 
said : " How, sir, could you believe that I should 
select you, to whom I have not spoken these eight 
years, to negotiate anything for me ; and especially 
through the mediation of such a woman ? " "I see 
plainly," said the Cardinal, "that I have been duped; 


I will pay for the necklace. My desire to be of ser- 
vice to Your Majesty blinded me ; I suspected no 
trick in the affair, and I am sorry for it." He then 
took out of his pocket-book a letter from the Queen 
to Madame de Lamotte, entrusting her with the com- 
mission. The King took it and, holding it towards 
the Cardinal, said, " This is neither written nor signed 
by the Queen. How could a Prince of the House of 
Rohan, and a Grand Almoner of France, ever think 
that the Queen would sign • Marie Antoinette de 
France ? ' Everybody knows that Queens sign only 
by their baptismal names. 1 But, sir," pursued the 
King, handing him a copy of his letter to Bcehmer, 
"did you ever write such a letter as this?" Having 
glanced over it, the Cardinal said, " I do not remember 
having written it." "But what if the original, signed 
by yourself, were shown to you ? " " If the letter be 
signed by myself it is genuine." " Then explain to 
me," resumed the King, " the whole of this enigma. 
I do not wish to find you guilty ; I had rather you 
would justify yourself. Account for all the manoeuvres 

i The following passage occurs in the " Secret Correspond- 
ence": — "The Cardinal ought, it was said, to have detected 
the forgery of the approbations and signature to the instructions. 
His place of Grand Almoner gave him ample opportunity of know- 
ing both Her Majesty's writing and her manner of signing her 
name. To this important objection it was answered that it was 
long since M. de Rohan had seen her writing; that he did not 
recollect it ; that, besides having no suspicions, he had no induce- 
ment to endeavour to verify it ; and that the Crown jewellers, 
to whom he showed the instrument, did not, any more than him- 
self, detect the imposition." 

With submission to the authors of the " Secret Correspond- 
ence," this answer is nugatory ; for merchants are better acquainted 
with commercial signatures than those of Courts, and they might 
very possibly be ignorant of customs which ought to be familiar 
to the Cardinal ; and the Abbe Georgel himself admits as much. 
— Note by the Editor. 


with Bcehmer, these securities and these notes." 
The Cardinal then, turning pale, and leaning against 
the table, said, " Sire, I am too much confused to 

answer Your Majesty in a way " " Compose 

yourself, Cardinal, and go into my cabinet. You 
will there find paper, pens and ink ; write what 
you have to say to me." The Cardinal went into 
the King's cabinet, and returned a quarter of an 
hour afterwards with a document as confused as his 
verbal- answers had been. The King then said, 
" Withdraw, sir." The Cardinal then left the King's 
chamber with the Baron de Breteuil, who gave 
him in custody to an ensign of the body - guard, 
with orders to take him to his apartment. M. 
d'Agoult, adjutant of the body - guard, afterwards 
took charge of him and conducted him to his 
hotel, and from thence to the Bastille. But while 
the Cardinal had with him only the young ensign 
of the body-guard, who was himself much embar- 
rassed at having such an order to execute, His 
Eminence met his heyduke at the door of the Saloon 
of Hercules ; he spoke to him in German, and then 
asked the ensign if he could lend him a pencil ; the 
officer gave him that which he carried about him, 
and the Cardinal wrote to the Abbe Georgel, his 
grand vicar and friend, instantly to burn all Madame 
de Lamotte's correspondence, and all his letters 
in general. 1 This commission was executed before 

i The " Secret Correspondence," in relating these circum- 
stances, thus explains the officer's conduct and confusion : 

" The ensign, being reprimanded for suffering the Cardinal to 
write, replied that his orders did not forbid it, and that besides he 
had been so much disconcerted by the unusual address of the 


M. de Crosne, lieutenant of police, had received an 
order from the Baron de Breteuil to put seals upon 
the Cardinal's papers. The destruction of all His 
Eminence's correspondence, and particularly that with 
Madame de Lamotte, threw an impenetrable cloud 
over the whole of this affair. Madame the King's 
step-sister was the sole protectress of that woman ; 
and her patronage was confined to allowing her a 
slender pension of twelve or fifteen hundred francs. 
Her brother was in the navy, but the Marquis de 
Chabert, to whom he had been recommended, could 
never make a good officer of him. 

Baron de Breteuil, ' In the King's name, sir, follow me,' that he 
had not recovered himself and did not perfectly know what he was 
about. This excuse is not very satisfactory, though it is true that 
this officer, who was very irregular in his conduct, was much in 
debt, and at first apprehended that the order intimated to him by 
the Baron concerned himself personally." 

The Abbe Georgel relates the circumstances of the note in 
a very different manner : 

" The Cardinal, at that dreadful moment, which might have 
been expected to deprive him of his senses, gave an astonishing 
proof of his presence of mind : notwithstanding the escort which 
surrounded him, favoured by the attendant crowd, he stopped, and 
stooping down with his face towards the wall, as if to fasten his 
buckle or his garter, snatched out his pencil, and hastily wrote a 
few words upon a scrap of paper placed under his hand in his 
square red cap. He rose again and proceeded. On entering his 
house, his people formed a lane ; he slipped this paper unperceived 
into the hand of a confidential valet de chambre, who waited for him 
at the door of his apartment." This little tale is scarcely credible : 
it is not at the moment of a prisoner's arrest, when an inquisitive 
crowd surrounds and watches him, that he can stop and write 
unperceived. However, the valet de chambre posts off to Paris. He 
arrives at the palace of the Cardinal between twelve and one 
o'clock, and his horse falls dead in the stable. ' ' I was in my 
apartment," says the Abbe Georgel; " the valet de chambre entered 
wildly, with a deadly paleness on his countenance, and exclaimed, 
' All is lost ; the Prince is arrested ! ' He instantly fainted and 
fell, dropping the paper of which he was the bearer." The port- 
folio enclosing the papers which might compromise the Cardinal 
was immediately placed beyond the reach of all search. — Note by 
the Editor. 


The Queen in vain endeavoured to call to mind the 
features of this person, whom she had often heard 
spoken of as an intriguing woman who came frequently 
on Sundays to the gallery at Versailles ; and at the 
time when all France was taken up with the prosecu- 
tion against the Cardinal, the portrait of the Countess 
de Lamotte-Valois was publicly sold. Her Majesty 
desired me one day, when I was going to Paris, to 
buy her the engraving, which was said to be a 
tolerable likeness, that she might ascertain whether 
she could recollect in it any person whom she had 
seen in the gallery. 1 

The woman De Lamotte's father was a peasant 
at Auteuil, though he called himself Valois. Madame 
de Boulainvilliers once saw from her terrace two 
pretty little peasant girls, each labouring under a 
heavy bundle of sticks ; the priest of the village, who 
was walking with her, told her that the children 
possessed some curious papers, and that he had no 
doubt they were descendants of a Valois, an illegiti- 
mate son of one of the Princes of that name. 

The family of Valois had long ceased to appear 
in the world. Hereditary vices had gradually plunged 
them into the deepest misery. 

I have heard that the last Valois occupied the 
estate called Gros Bois ; that as he seldom came to 
Court, Louis XIII. asked him what he was about 
that he remained so constantly in the country, and 
that this M. de Valois merely answered : " Sire, I am 

i The public, as the reader knows, with the exception of 
persons dressed in the style of the lowest of the people, were 
admitted into the gallery and larger apartments of Versailles as 
they were into the park. — Note by Madame Campan. 


doing nothing but what I ought to do." 1 It was shortly 
afterwards discovered that he was engaged in coining. 

As soon as the news of the Grand Almoner's 
arrest spread through Paris, the Prince de Conde, 
who had married a Princess of the House of Rohan, 
the Marechal de Soubise, and the Princess de Mar- 
san, exclaimed indignantly against the arrest of a 
Prince of their family. The clergy, from the cardi- 
nals down to the youths in the seminaries, gave vent 
to their affliction at the disgraceful apprehension of a 
Prince of the Church, and an infinite number of 
persons were eagerly desirous to see the Court 
humbled for so harsh a proceeding. 

I must interrupt my narrative of the famous neck- 
lace plot to say something about this woman De La- 
motte. Neither the Queen herself nor any lady 
about her ever had the slightest connection with that 
swindler; and during her prosecution, she could point 
out but one of the Queen's servants, a man named 
Desclos, a valet of the Queen's bed-chamber, to whom 
she pretended she had delivered Bcehmer's necklace. 
This Desclos was a very honest man ; upon being con- 
fronted with the woman De Lamotte, it was proved that 
she had never seen him but once, which was at the 
house of the wife of a surgeon-accoucheur at Ver- 
sailles, the only person she visited at Court; and that 
she had not given him the necklace. Madame de 
Lamotte married a private in Monsieur's body-guard; 
she lodged at Versailles at the Belle Image, a very 
inferior furnished hotel ; and it is inconceivable 

i Je ne fais que ce que je dots : which also means, " I only make 
what I owe ; ' ' and in that sense was a true answer. 


how so obscure a person could succeed in making 
herself believed to be a friend of the Queen, who, 
though so extremely affable, very seldom granted 
audiences, and only to titled persons. 

The trial of the Cardinal is so generally known 
that it is unnecessary for me to repeat the circum- 
stances of it here. 1 The point most embarrassing to 
him was the interview he had in February, 1785, 
with M. de Saint- James, to whom he confided the 
particulars of the Queen's pretended commission, and 
showed the contract approved and signed " Marie 
Antoinette de France." The memorandum, found in 
a drawer of the Cardinal's bureau, in which he had 
himself written what Bcehmer told him after having 
seen me at my country house, was likewise an un- 
fortunate document for His Eminence. 

1 The letters patent, which gave the Parliament cognisance of 
the process, were couched in these terms : 

" Louis, &c. Having been informed that the Sieurs Bcehmer 
and Bassange sold the Cardinal de Rohan a necklace of brilliants ; 
that the said Cardinal de Rohan, without the knowledge of the 
Queen our beloved spouse and consort, told them he was authorised 
by her to purchase it at the price of 1,600,000 livres, payable by 
instalments, and showed them false instructions to that effect, which 
he exhibited as approved by the Queen ; that the said necklace 
having been delivered by the said Bcehmer and Bassange to the 
said Cardinal, and the first payment agreed on between them not 
having been made good, they had recourse to the Queen ; we could 
not without just indignation see an august name, dear to us on so 
many accounts, thus daringly abused, and the respect due to Royal 
Majesty violated with such unheard-of temerity ; we therefore 
deemed it incumbent on our justice to cite before us the said 
Cardinal, and upon his declaration to us that he had been deceived 
by a woman named Lamotte, called De Valois, we judged it indis- 
pensable to secure his person and that of the said Lamotte called 
De Valois, and to take those steps suggested to us by our wisdom 
for the discovery of the authors or accomplices of such an attack ; 
and we have thought fit to make you acquainted with these 
matters, that the process may be instituted and decided by you, 
the great chamber and criminal court assembled." — Note by 
the Editor. 

VOL. II 2 


I offered to the King to go and declare that 
Bcehmer had told me and maintained that the Car- 
dinal assured him he had received from the Queen's 
own hand the 30,000 francs given as earnest upon the 
bargain being concluded, and that His Eminence had 
seen Her Majesty take that sum in bills from the 
porcelain secretaire in her boudoir. The King declined 
my offer and said, " Were you alone when Boehmer 
told you this?" I answered that I was alone with 
him in my garden. "Well," resumed he, "the man 
would deny the fact ; he is now sure of being paid 
his 1,600,000 francs, which the Cardinal's family will 
find it necessary to make good to him. 1 We cannot 
rely upon his sincerity ; it would look as if you were 
sent by the Queen, and that would not be proper." 

The Attorney-General's information was severe on 
the Cardinal. The House of Conde, that of Rohan, 
the majority of the nobility and the whole of the 
clergy, saw nothing in this affair but an attack upon 
the Prince's rank and the privileges of a cardinal. 
The clergy required that the unfortunate business of 
the Prince Cardinal de Rohan should be sent to the 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the Archbishop of Nar- 

1 The King's good sense had fathomed this intrigue ; a fact 
related in the "Secret Correspondence" proves it: "The guilty 
woman no sooner knew that all was about to be discovered than 
she sent for the jewellers, and told them that the Cardinal had 
perceived that the agreement which he believed to have been signed 
by the Queen was a false and forged document. ' However,' added 
she, ' the Cardinal possesses a considerable fortune, and he can very 
well pay you.' These words reveal the whole secret. The Countess 
had taken the necklace to herself, and flattered herself that M. de 
Rohan, seeing himself deceived and cruelly imposed upon, would 
determine to pay and make the best terms he could, rather than 
suffer a matter of this nature to become public. And that was, in 
fact, the best thing he could do." — Note by the Editor. 


bonne, then President of the Convocation, made repre- 
sentations upon the subject to the King ; ' the bishops 
wrote to His Majesty to remind him that a private 
ecclesiastic implicated in the affair then pending would 
have a right to claim his constitutional judges, and 
that this right was refused to a cardinal, his superior 
in the hierarchical order. 2 In short, the clergy and 
the greater part of the nobility were at that time 
outrageous against authority, and chiefly against the 

The Attorney-General's conclusions, and those of a 
part of the heads of the magistracy, were as severe 
towards the Cardinal as the information had been, 
yet he was fully acquitted by a majority of three 
voices ; the woman De Lamotte was condemned to 
be whipped, branded and imprisoned, and her hus- 
band, for contumacy, was condemned to the galleys 
for life. 

The Queen's grief was extreme. As soon as I 

1 Vide, in the Historical Illustrations (B), fragments of the speech 
delivered by the Archbishop of Narbonne in presence of the clergy 
then assembled. — Note by the Editor. 

2 " While the process was pending," says a paper of the time, 
" there appeared a brief from the Pope, addressed to the Cardinal, 
in which the Pope informs him that, having held a consistory re- 
specting him, they had unanimously resolved that he had essentially 
sinned against his dignity as a member of the Sacred College, by 
recognising a foreign and secular tribunal ; that he was consequently 
suspended for six months ; and that if he persisted in so irregular a 
line of conduct, he would be struck off the list of cardinals." 

All this was but an empty threat ; for the Abbe Lemoine, a 
doctor of the Sorbonne, having appeared for Prince Louis de 
Rohan, proved that His Eminence could not avoid submitting to a 
tribunal appointed for him by the King, his master ; and that, with 
regard to the preservation of the prerogatives of his dignity, he had 
made the customary protests. The Sovereign Pontiff was so satis- 
fied that, after all the requisite formalities, he declared the Cardinal 
de Rohan reinstated in all the rights and honours of the Roman 
purple. — Note by the Editor. 


learned the substance of the decision, I went to her, 
and found her alone in her closet ; she was weeping. 
" Come," said Her Majesty to me, " come and lament 
for your Queen, insulted and sacrificed by cabal and 
injustice. But rather let me pity you as a French- 
woman. If I have not met with equitable judges in 
a matter which affected my reputation, what could you 
hope for in a suit in which your fortune, and character 
were at stake ? " ' The King came in at this moment, 
and said to me, " You find the Queen much afflicted ; 
she has great reason to be so. They were determined 
throughout this affair to see only an ecclesiastical 
Prince — a Prince de Rohan ; while he is in fact a needy 
fellow.'' (I use His Majesty's own expression). "And 
all this was but a scheme to put money into his pockets, 
in endeavouring to do which he found himself the party 
cheated instead of the cheat. Nothing is easier to see 
through ; and it is not necessary to be an Alexander to 
cut this Gordian knot." 

The opinion sanctioned by time is that the Cardinal 
was completely duped by the woman De Lamotte and 
Cagliostro. The King may have been in error in 
thinking him an accomplice in this miserable and 

i "Will it be believed," says the Abbe Georgel, " that it was 
necessary to use caution in announcing the Cardinal's triumph to 
the Queen?" Will it be believed, we ask in our turn, that the 
Abbe Georgel felt any surprise on the occasion ? Was not the 
triumph of a prelate who had compromised the name of his Queen 
in France and Europe by his scandalous connections, by an imbecile 
credulity, and perhaps even by criminal hopes, a sad and suffi- 
cient cause for affliction to Marie Antoinette ? Perhaps the Abbe 
Soulavie, whose animosity against Marie Antoinette at least equals 
the Abbe Georgel 's hatred (they were both Jesuits), less clearly 
betrayed his feelings by his calumnies than the Cardinal de 
Rohan's friend did his by his insolent exclamation. What should 
a woman, a wife and a Queen, hold more dear than her honour and 
the majesty of the throne ? — Note by the Editor. 


criminal scheme ; but I have faithfully given His 
Majesty's judgment concerning it. 

However, the generally received opinion, that the 
Baron de Breteuil's hatred for the Cardinal was the 
cause of the scandal and result of this unfortunate 
affair, contributed to the disgrace of the former still 
more than his refusal to give his grand-daughter in 
marriage to the son of the Duke de Polignac. 

The Abbe de Vermond threw the whole blame of 
the imprudence and impolicy of the affair of the 
Cardinal de Rohan upon the minister, and ceased to 
be the friend and supporter of the Baron de Breteuil 
with the Queen. 1 

i Madame Campan was aware of the importance of her testi- 
mony in the affair of the necklace. Among her manuscripts are 
two accounts of that unfortunate business. One is that which we 
have just read ; in the other, the ground-work of which is the 
same, a few circumstances are presented in a different light, and 
several new particulars give it considerable interest. The second 
interview of the Queen with Bcehmer, in which she learns the 
meaning of the fatal enigma, for instance, is a curious fact. The 
style of the latter narrative is more free and more animated than 
that of the former. The dramatis persona disclose their emotions, 
passions and dispositions more clearly. It especially shows the 
application of the vague manner in which the Queen, in the above 
account, calls in question the equity of the judges. We see by what 
sort of spirit the Parliament was animated. It is certain that a 
part of the magistracy, then performing a prelude to the resistance 
it soon afterwards made to the Royal authority, was less intent on 
securing a triumph for the Cardinal than a mortification for the 
Court. The Abbe Georgel himself admits it. He points out the 
magistrates who favoured the Cardinal, not with that moderate 
and scrupulous interest which an equitable judge feels for the 
accused, but with all the ardour of party spirit. 

Madame Campan's second version throws a still purer and 
brighter light than the first upon the Queen's conduct, her grief 
and her generous indignation at this crisis. We give this second 
narrative in her Historical Illustrations (Note No. i), under a 
persuasion that the reader will readily overlook a few repetitions 
in consideration of new particulars. — Note by the Editor. 



The Archbishop of Sens is appointed to the Ministry — The Abbe 
de Vermond's joy on the occasion — The Queen is obliged to 
take a part in public business — Money sent to Vienna contrary 
to her inclination — Anecdotes — The Queen supports the Arch- 
bishop of Sens in office — Public rejoicings on his dismissal — 
Opening of the States-General. — Cries of " Vive le Due 
d'Orleans!" — Their effect upon the Queen — Mirabeau — He 
requests an embassy — The Queen's misfortunes induce her 
to yield to superstitious fears — Anecdotes — Prejudices of the 
provincial deputies of the Tiers-Etat — Causes of these preju- 
dices — Death of the first Dauphin — Anecdotes. 

The Abbe de Vermond could not suppress his 
exultation when he succeeded in getting the Arch- 
bishop of Sens appointed President of the Council of 
Finance. I have often heard him say that seventeen 
years of patience were not too great a price for success 
at Court ; that he spent all that time in gaining the 
end he had in view; but that at length the Archbishop 
was where he ought to be, for the good of the State. 
The Abbe from this time no longer concealed his 
credit and influence in the Queen's private circle ; 
nothing could equal the confidence with which he 
displayed the extent of his ambition. He requested 
the Queen to order that the apartments appropriated 
to him should be enlarged, telling her that, being 
obliged to give audiences to bishops, cardinals and 
ministers, he required a residence suitable to his 
present circumstances. The Queen continued to treat 


him in general as she did before the Archbishop's 
arrival at Court ; but the household observed a 
variation which indicated increased consideration : 
the word Monsieur preceded that of Abbe ; and, such 
is the influence of favour, that, from that moment, not 
only the livery servants, but also the people of the 
ante-chambers, rose when Monsieur VAbbe was passing, 
though there never was, to my knowledge, any order 
given to that effect. 

The Queen was obliged, on account of the King's 
disposition, and the very limited confidence he placed 
in the Archbishop of Sens, to take a part in public 
affairs. While M. de Maurepas lived she kept out 
of that danger, as may be seen by the censure which 
the Baron de Besenval passes on her in his Memoirs 
for not availing herself of the conciliation he had 
promoted between the Queen and that minister, 
who counteracted the ascendency which she and her 
intimate friends might otherwise have gained over 
the King's mind. 

The Queen has often assured me that she never 
interfered respecting the interests of Austria but 
once, and that was only to claim the execution of 
the treaty of alliance at the time when Joseph II. 
was at war with Prussia and Turkey ; that she 
then demanded that an army of 24,000 men 
should be sent to him, instead of 15,000,000 
livres — an alternative which had been left to option 
in the treaty, in case the Emperor should have a 
just war to maintain; that she could not obtain her 
object, and M. de Vergennes, in an interview which 
she had with him upon the subject, put an end to 


her importunities by observing that he was answering 
the mother of the Dauphin, and not the sister of the 
Emperor. 1 The 15,000,000 livres were sent. There 
was no want of money at Vienna, and the value of 
a French army was fully appreciated. " But how," 
said the Queen, " could they be so wicked as to 
send off those fifteen millions from the general post- 
office, diligently publishing, even to the street porters, 
that they were loading the carriages with money that 
I was sending to my brother — whereas it is certain 
that the money would equally have been sent if I had 
belonged to another House ; and, besides, it was sent 
contrary to my inclination." 

The Queen never disguised her dislike to the 
American War; she could not conceive how anybody 
could advise a Sovereign to aim at the humiliation 
of England, through an" attack on the Sovereign 
authority, and by assisting a people to organise a 
Republican Constitution. She often laughed at the 
enthusiasm with which Franklin inspired the French; 
and, upon the peace of 1783, she treated the English 
nobility and the ambassador from England with 
marked distinction. 

When the Count de Moustier set out on his 
mission to the United States, after having had his 
public audience of leave, he came and asked me to 
procure him a private one. I could not succeed, 
even with the strongest solicitations : the Queen 
desired me to wish him a good voyage, but added, 

1 Vide Historical Illustrations (C), a passage respecting the 
delicate situation in which M. de Vergennes was placed in the 
midst of the parties which divided the Court. — Note by the 


that none but ministers could have anything to say 
to him in private, since he was going to a country 
where the names of King and Queen must be detested. 
Marie Antoinette had, then, no direct influence 
over State affairs until after the deaths of M. de 
Maurepas and M. de Vergennes and the retirement 
of M. de Calonne. She frequently regretted her new 
situation, and looked upon it as a misfortune which 
she could not avoid. One day, while I was assisting 
her to tie up a number of memorials and reports 
which some of the ministers had handed to her to 
be given to the King, " Ah ! " said she, sighing, 
" there is an end of all happiness for me, since 
they have made an intriguer of me." I censured the 
word. " Yes," resumed the Queen ; " that is the 
right term ; every woman who meddles with affairs 
above her understanding or out of her line of duty 
is an intriguer and nothing else ; you will remember, 
however, that it is not my own fault, and that it 
is with regret I give myself the title. The Queens 
of France are happy only so long as they meddle 
with nothing, and merely preserve influence sufficient 
to advance their friends and reward a few zealous 
servants. Do you know," added that excellent 
Princess — thus reluctantly forced to act in opposi- 
tion to her principles — " do you know what happened 
to me lately ? One day, since I began to attend 
private committees at the King's, while crossing the 
'bull's eye,' I heard one of the musicians of the 
chapel say, so loudly that I lost not a single word, 
' A Queen who does her duty will remain in her 
apartment to knit.' I said within myself, ' Poor 


creature, thou art right ; but thou knowest not my 
situation. I yield to necessity and my unfortunate 
destiny.' " This situation was the more painful to 
the Queen inasmuch as Louis XVI. had long accus- 
tomed himself to say nothing to her respecting State 
affairs ; and when, towards the close of his reign, 
she was obliged to interfere in the most important 
matters, the same closeness in the King frequently 
kept from her particulars which it was proper she 
should know. Obtaining, therefore, only partial in- 
formation, and guided by persons more ambitious 
than skilful, the Queen could not be useful in the 
grand march of affairs; yet, at the same time, her 
ostensible interference drew upon her from all parties 
and all classes of society an unpopularity, the rapid 
progress of which alarmed all those who were sincerely 
attached to her. 

Led away by the brilliant language of the Arch- 
bishop of Sens, and encouraged in the confidence she 
placed in that minister by the incessant eulogies of 
the Abbe de Vermond on his abilities, the Queen 
unfortunately followed up her first mistake — that 
of bringing him into office — by the equally unfor- 
tunate error of supporting him at the time of his 
disgrace, which was conceded to the despair of a 
whole nation. She thought it was due to her dignity 
to give him some marked proof of her regard. Mis- 
guided by her feelings, she sent him her portrait 
enriched with jewellery, and a patent for a situation 
of lady of the palace for Madame de Canisy, his 
niece, observing that it was necessary to indemnify 
a minister sacrificed to Court intrigues and the 


factious spirit of the nation ; that otherwise none 
would be found willing to devote themselves to the 
interests of the Sovereign. However, on the day of 
the Archbishop's departure, the public joy was uni- 
versal both at Court and among the people of Paris. 
There were bonfires ; the attorneys' clerks burnt the 
Archbishop in effigy, and on the very evening of 
his disgrace more than a hundred couriers were 
sent out from Versailles to spread the happy tidings 
among the country seats round Paris and Versailles. 1 
I have since seen the Queen shed bitter tears at the 
recollection of the errors she committed at this period, 
when subsequently, a short time before her death, the 
Archbishop had the audacity to say, in a speech which 
was printed, that the sole object of one part of his 
operations, during his administration, was to promote 
the salutary crisis which the Revolution had produced. 2 
When the fruitless measure of the Assembly of 
the Notables 3 and the rebellious spirit of the Parlia- 

1 The Illustrations (D) give some curious particulars respecting 
the circumstances which accompanied and followed the Arch- 
bishop's dismission. — Note by the Editor. 

2 We will here mention a caricature of the time, which shows 
the nature of the attacks which then began to be made against the 
throne and the most august personages. It represented the King 
at table with his consort ; he had a glass in his hand ; the Queen 
was raising a morsel to her lips ; the people were crowding round 
the table with their mouths open. Below was written, " The King 
drinks ; the Queen eats; the people cry out." (" Anecdotes of the 
Reign of Louis XVI." vol. i.) — Note by the Editor. 

3 The Assembly of the Notables, as may be seen in Weber's 
Memoirs, vol. i., overthrew the plans and caused the downfall of 
M. de Calonne. A Prince of the Blood presided over each of the 
bureaux of that Assembly. Monsieur, afterwards Louis XVIII. , 
presided over the first. "Monsieur," says a paper of the time, 
"gained great reputation at the Assembly of the Notables in 1787. 
He did not miss attending his bureau a single day, and he displayed 
truly patriotic virtues. His care in discussing the weighty matters 


ments had created the necessity for summoning the 
States - General, it was long discussed in Council 
whether they should be assembled at Versailles or 
at forty or fifty leagues from the capital. The Queen 
was for the latter course, and insisted to the King that 
they ought to be far away from the immense population 
of Paris. She began to fear that the people would 
influence the deliberations of the deputies. Several 
memorials were presented to the King upon that 
important question ; but M. Necker's opinion pre- 
vailed, and Versailles was the place fixed upon, 
which affords room for the supposition that M. 
Necker, in his schemes — not supposing that the 
popular commotions, which he undoubtedly hoped to 
be able to regulate, would extend to the annihilation 
of the monarchy — calculated that they would be useful 
to him. 

Politicians were occupied with the double repre- 
sentation granted to the Tiers-Etat ; it was the sole 
topic of conversation ; some foresaw all the incon- 
veniences of the measure, while others overrated its 

The Queen adopted the plan to which the King 
had agreed. She thought the hope of obtaining eccle- 
siastical favours would secure the clergy of the second 
Order, and that M. Necker felt assured that he 

of administration, in throwing light upon them, and in defending 
the interests and the cause of the people, was such as even to 
inspire the King with some degree of jealousy. Monsieur always 
thought, and constantly said, openly, ' That a respectful resistance 
to the orders of the monarch was not blamable, and that authority 
might be met by argument, and forced to receive information, 
without any offence whatever.' " — Note by the Editor. 


possessed the same degree of influence over the 
lawyers, and other people of that class, who formed 
the Third Estate. The Count d'Artois, holding the 
contrary opinion, presented a memorial in the names 
of himself and several Princes of the Blood to the King 
against the double representation granted to the Tiers- 
Etat. The Queen was displeased with him for this ; 
her confidential advisers infused into her apprehensions 
that the Prince was made the tool of a party ; but his 
conduct was approved of by Madame de Polignac's 
circle, which the Queen thenceforward frequented, 
merely to avoid the appearance of a change in her 
habits. She almost always returned unhappy. She 
was treated with the profound respect due to a Queen ; 
but all the touching graces of friendship had vanished 
to make way for the duties of etiquette, which wounded 
her deeply. The existing coolness between her and the 
Count d'Artois was also very painful to her, for she 
had loved him as tenderly as if he had been her own 

The opening of the States-General took place on 
the 4th of May. The Queen on that occasion appeared, 
for the last time in her life, in regal magnificence. 

I will not pass over unnoticed a well-known fact 
which proves that before this period a faction had 
begun its operations against this Princess. During 
the procession on the opening of the States-General 
some low women, on seeing the Queen pass, cried 
out, " Vive le Due d'Orleans ! " in so .threatening 
a manner that she nearly fainted. She was obliged 
to be supported, and those about her were afraid it 
would be necessary to stop the procession. The Queen, 


however, recovered herself, and much regretted that 
she had not been able to command more presence of 

The first sitting of the States took place on the 
following day. The King delivered his speech with 
firmness and dignity ; the Queen told me that he had 
taken great pains about it, and repeated it frequently, 
that he might perfectly adapt it to the intonations of 
his voice. 

His Majesty gave public marks of attachment and 
respect for the Queen, who was applauded ; but it 
was easy to see that these applauses were in fact a 
homage rendered to the King alone. 

It was evident during the first sittings that Mira- 
beau would be very dangerous to the Government. 
It is affirmed that at this period he communicated 
to the King, and still more fully to the Queen, a part 
of his scheme and his proposals for renouncing them. 
He had brandished the weapons afforded him by his 
eloquence and audacity, in order to treat with the 
party he meant to attack. This man played a game 
of revolution in order to make his fortune. The 
Queen told me that he asked for an embassy, and if 
my memory does not deceive me, it was that of Con- 
stantinople. He was refused with well-deserved con- 
tempt, though policy would doubtless have concealed 
it, could the future have been foreseen. 

The general enthusiasm prevailing at the opening 
of this Assembly, and the debates between the Tiers- 
Etat, the Nobility, and even the Clergy, daily increased 
the alarm of Their Majesties, and all who were 
attached to the cause of monarchy ; but this era of 


our history is too well known, and has been already 
too ably described, to require that I should go into 
any further details than those which are peculiarly 
within my province. 

The Queen went to bed late, or I should rather 
say that this unfortunate Princess began to lose the 
enjoyment of rest. One evening, about the latter 
end of May, she was sitting in the middle of her 
room,, relating several remarkable occurrences of the 
day ; four wax candles were placed upon her toilette ; 
the first went out of itself, and I relighted it ; shortly 
afterwards the second, and then the third, went out 
also ; upon which the Queen, squeezing my hand 
with an emotion of terror, said to me, " Misfortune 
has power to make us superstitious ; if the fourth 
taper should go out like the rest, nothing can prevent 
my looking upon it as a fatal omen." The fourth 
taper went out. 

It was remarked to the Queen that the four 
tapers had probably been run in the same mould, 
and that a defect in the wick had naturally occurred 
at the same point in each, since the candles had 
all gone out in the order in which they had been 

The deputies of the Tiers- Etat arrived at Versailles 
full of the strongest prejudices against the Court. 
The falsehoods of the metropolis never failing to 
spread themselves into the surrounding provinces, 
they believed that the King indulged in the plea- 
sures of the table to a shameful excess ; that the 
Queen was draining the Treasury of the State in 
order to satisfy the most unreasonable luxury: they 


almost all determined to see Little Trianon. The 
extreme plainness of the retreat in question not 
answering the ideas they had formed, some of them 
insisted upon seeing the very smallest closets, saying 
that the richly furnished apartments were concealed 
from them. In short, they spoke of one which, 
according to them, was wholly ornamented with 
diamonds, and with wreathed columns studded with 
sapphires and rubies. The Queen could not get 
these foolish ideas out of her mind, and spoke to 
the King on the subject. From the description given 
of this room by the deputies to the keepers of 
Trianon, the King concluded that they were looking 
for the scene enriched with paste ornaments, made 
in the reign of Louis XV. for the theatre of 

The King supposed that his body-guards, upon 
their return into the country, after having performed 
their quarterly duty at Court, related what they had 
seen, and that their exaggerated accounts being re- 
peated became at last totally perverted. This first 
idea of the King, upon the search after the diamond 
chamber, suggested to the Queen that the mistake 
about the King's supposed propensity to drinking 
also sprang from the guards who accompanied his 
carriage when he hunted at Rambouillet. The King, 
who disliked sleeping out of his usual bed, was 
accustomed to leave that hunting - seat after supper. 
He generally slept soundly in his carriage, and awoke 
only on his arrival at the courtyard of his palace. He 
used to get down from his carriage in the midst of 
his body-guards staggering, as a man half awake 


will do, which was mistaken for a state of intoxica- 
tion. 1 

The majority of the deputies, who came imbued 
with prejudices produced by error or malevolence, 
went to lodge with the most humble private indi- 
viduals of Versailles, whose inconsiderate conversation 
contributed not a little to the nourishment of such 
mistaken notions. Everything, in short, tended to 
render. the deputies subservient to the schemes of the 
leaders of the rebellion. 

Shortly after the opening of the States -General 
the first Dauphin died. That young Prince fell, in a 
few months, from a florid state of health into the 
rickets, which curved his spine, lengthened his face, 
and rendered his legs so weak that he could not walk 
without being supported like a decayed old man. 2 

i It is curious to compare the following anecdote with the 
unjust censure thrown upon Louis XVI., the cause of which 
Madame Campan explains so naturally. 

" Boursault's play of JEsop at Court contains a scene in which 
the Prince permits the courtiers to tell him his failings. They all 
join chorus in praising him beyond measure, with the exception of 
one, who reproaches him with loving wine and getting intoxicated, 
a dangerous vice in anyone, but especially in a King. Louis XV., 
in whom that disgusting propensity had almost grown into a habit, 
in the year 1739 found fault with Boursault's piece and forbade its 
performance at Court. After the death of that King, the time of 
mourning being expired, Louis XVI. commanded JEsop at Court 
for performance, found the play full of good sense, and proper for 
the instruction of Royalty, and directed that it should be often 
performed before him." — Note by the Editor. 

2 Louis, Dauphin of France, who died at Versailles on the 
4th of June, 1789, gave promise of intellectual precocity. The 
following particulars, which convey some idea of his disposition 
and of the assiduous care bestowed upon him by the Duchess de 
Polignac, will be found in a work of that time. 

"At two years old the Dauphin was very pretty; he articu- 
lated well, and answered questions put to him intelligently. While 
he was at La Muette everybody was at liberty to see him. Having 
received, in the presence of the visitors, a box of sweetmeats sent 

VOL. II 3 


How many maternal tears did his languishing con- 
dition, the certain forerunner of death, draw from the 
Queen, already overwhelmed with apprehensions re- 
specting the state of the kingdom ! Her grief was 
enhanced by petty intrigues, which, when frequently 
renewed, became intolerable. An open quarrel be- 
tween the families and friends of the Duke d'Harcourt, 
the Dauphin's governor, and those of the Duchess de 
Polignac, his governess, added greatly to the Queen's 
affliction. The young Prince showed a strong dislike 
to the Duchess de Polignac, who attributed it either 
to the Duke or the Duchess d'Harcourt, and came to 
make her complaints respecting it to the Queen. It is 
true that the Dauphin twice sent her out of the room, 
saying to her, with that maturity of manner which 
languishing sickness always gives to children, " Go 

him by the Queen with her portrait upon it, he said : * Ah ! that's 
mamma's picture.' 

" The Dauphin was always dressed very plainly, like a sailor ; 
there was nothing to distinguish him from other children in point 
of external appearance but the cross of Saint-Louis, the blue 
ribbon, and the Order of the Fleece, decorations particularly 
belonging to his birth. 

"The Duchess Jules de Polignac, his governess, scarcely ever 
left him for a single instant ; she gave up all the Court excursions 
and amusements in order to devote her whole attention to her 
precious charge. 

" A truly affecting trait is related of the young Dauphin, whom 
death snatched from us. The Prince always manifested a great 
regard for M. de Bourset, his valet de chambre. After falling into a 
state of weakness, from the sickness of which he died, he one day 
asked for a pair of scissors ; that gentleman reminded him that 
they were forbidden. The child insisted mildly, and they were 
obliged to yield to him. Having got the scissors, he cut off a lock 
of his hair, which he wrapped in a sheet of paper : ' There, sir,' 
said he to his valet de chambre ; ' there is the only present I can 
make you, having nothing at my command ; but when I am dead 
you will present this pledge to my papa and mamma, and while 
they remember me I hope they will not forget you.' " — Note by 
the Editor. 


out, Duchess; you are so fond of using perfumes, and 
they always make me ill" — and yet she never used 
any. The Queen perceived also that his prejudices 
against her friend extended to herself ; her son 
would no longer speak in her presence. She had 
observed that he was fond of sugared sweetmeats, 
and offered him some marshmallow and jujube 
lozenges. The under -governors and the first valet 
de chambre requested her not to give the Dauphin 
anything, as he was to receive no food of any kind 
without the consent of the faculty. I forbear de- 
scribing the wound this prohibition inflicted upon 
the Queen ; she felt it the more deeply because she 
was aware it was unjustly believed she gave a 
decided preference to the Duke of Normandy, whose 
ruddy health and loveliness did, in truth, form a 
striking contrast to the languid look and melancholy 
disposition of his elder brother. At least she could 
not doubt that a project to deprive her of the affection 
of a child whom she loved as a good and tender 
mother ought, and whose sufferings made him an 
object of increased interest to her, had for some time 
existed. Previous to the audience granted by the 
King on the ioth of August, 1788, to the envoy of 
the Sultan Tippoo Saib, she had begged the Duke 
d'Harcourt to divert the Dauphin — whose deformity 
was already apparent — from his intention to be present 
at that ceremony, being unwilling to expose him in 
his then decrepit state to the gaze of the crowd of 
inquisitive Parisians who would be in the gallery. 
Notwithstanding this injunction, the Dauphin was 
suffered to write to his mother, requesting her per- 


mission to be present at the audience. The Queen 
was obliged to refuse him, and warmly reproached 
the governor, who merely answered that he could not 
oppose the wishes of a sick child. A year before the 
death of the Dauphin, the Queen lost the Princess 
Sophie, who was not weaned. This first misfortune 
was, as the Queen said, the beginning of all that 
followed from that moment. 1 

1 The article dedicated to the memory of Louis XVI. in the 
" Biographie Universelle " makes no mention of the Princess Sophie. 
"This Prince," says the work in question, "had three children:. 
Louis the Dauphin, who died in 1789, Louis XVII. and Marie 
Theresa Charlotte, now the Duchess d'Angouleme." The error, or 
rather the omission, is of little importance, but we are surprised, 
when the family of Louis XVI. is spoken of, to meet with this 
mistake in an article signed "Bonald." — Note by the Editor. 



Oath of the tennis court — Insurrection of the 14th of July — The 
King goes to the National Assembly — Anecdotes — Spectacle 
presented by the courtyard of the Castle of Versailles — Report 
that the National Assembly is threatened — The King's speech 
rebutting these odious suspicions — Anecdotes — Disposition of 
the troops — Departure of the Count d'Artois, the Prince de 
Conde and the Duke and Duchess de Polignac — The latter is 
recognised by a postilion, who saves her — The King goes to 
Paris — Alarm at Versailles — The Queen determines to go to 
the National Assembly — Affecting speech prepared by her — 
The King's return — Bailly's speech — Assassination of MM. 
Foulon and Berthier — Plans presented by M. Foulon to the 
King for arresting the progress of the Revolution — Horrid 
remark by Barnave — His repentance. 

The ever-memorable oath of the States-General, 
taken at the tennis court of Versailles, was followed 
by the Royal sitting of the 23rd of June. The Queen 
looked upon M. Necker's not accompanying the King 
as treachery or criminal cowardice. She said that he 
had converted a salutary remedy into poison ; that, 
being in full popularity, his audacity had emboldened 
the factions and led away the whole Assembly, and 
that he was the more culpable inasmuch as he had, 
the evening before, given her his word to accompany 
the King to this sitting. In vain did M. Necker 
endeavour to excuse himself by saying that his advice 
had not been attended to. 

Soon afterwards, the insurrections of the nth, 12th 


and 14th of July opened the disastrous drama with 
which France was threatened. The massacre of 
M. de Flesselles and M. de Launay drew bitter tears 
from the Queen, and the idea that the King had lost 
such devoted subjects wounded her to the heart. 

The character of the insurrection was not merely 
that of a popular tumult ; the cries of " Vive la 
nation!" "Vive le Roi!" "Vive la liberte!" threw 
the strongest light upon the extended plan of the re- 
formers. Still the people spoke of the King with 
affection, and appeared to think his character favour- 
able to the desire of the nation for the reform of what 
were called abuses; but they imagined that he was 
restrained by the opinions and influence of the Count 
d'Artois and the Queen; and those two august per- 
sonages were therefore objects of hatred to the mal- 
contents. The dangers incurred by the Count d'Artois 
determined the King's first step with the National 
Assembly. He attended there on the morning of the 
15th of July with his brothers, without pomp or escort. 
He spoke standing and uncovered, and pronounced 
these memorable words : " Upon you I throw myself. 
It is my wish that I and the nation should be one, 
and, in full reliance on the affection and fidelity of my 
subjects, I have given orders to the troops to remove 
from Paris and Versailles." The King returned from 
the chamber of the National Assembly to his palace 
on foot ; the deputies crowded after him and formed 
his escort, and that of the Princes who accompanied 
him. The rage of the populace was pointed against 
the Count d'Artois, whose unfavourable opinion of the 
double representation was an odious crime in their 


eyes. They repeatedly cried out, " The King for 
ever, in spite of you and your opinions, Monseigneur." 
One woman had the impudence to come up to the 
King and ask him whether what he had been doing 
was done sincerely, and whether he would not be 
forced to retract it. 

The courtyards of the castle were thronged with 
an immense concourse of people. They demanded 
that the King and Queen should make their appear- 
ance in the balcony with their children. The Queen 
gave me the key of the inner doors, which led to the 
Dauphin's apartments, and desired me to go to the 
Duchess de Polignac, to tell her that she wanted her 
son, and had directed me to bring him myself into 
her room, where she waited for him to show him to 
the people. The Duchess said this order indicated 
that she was not to accompany the Prince. I did not 
answer; she squeezed my hand, saying, "Ah! Madame 
Campan, what a blow for me ! " She embraced the 
child with tears, and bestowed a similar mark of 
attachment upon myself. She knew how much I 
loved and valued the goodness and the noble frank- 
ness of her disposition. I endeavoured to compose 
her by saying that I should bring back the Prince to 
her ; but she persisted, and said she understood the 
order and knew what it meant. She then retired into 
her private room, holding her handkerchief to her eyes. 
One of the sub-governesses asked me whether she 
might go with the Dauphin. I told her the Queen 
had given no order to the contrary, and we hastened 
to Her Majesty, who was waiting for the Prince, to 
show him from the balcony. 


Having executed this painful commission, I went 
down into the courtyard, where I mingled with the 
crowd. I heard a thousand vociferations. It was 
easy to see, by the difference between the language 
and the dress of some persons among the mob, that 
they were in disguise. A woman, whose face was 
covered with a black lace veil, seized me by the arm 
with some degree of violence and said, calling me by 
my name, " I know you very well. Tell your Queen 
not to meddle with government any longer. Let her 
leave her husband and our good States-General to 
effect the happiness of the people." At the same 
moment a man, dressed much in the style of a market 
man, with his hat pulled down over his eyes, seized 
me by the other arm and said, " Yes, yes ; tell her 
over and over again that it will not be with these 
States as with the others, which produced no good to 
the people; that the nation is too enlightened in 1789 
not to make something more of them, and that there 
will not now be seen a deputy of the Tiers-Etat 
making a speech with one knee on the ground. Tell 
her this, do you hear ? " I was struck with dread. 
The Queen then appeared in the balcony. "Ah!" 
said the woman in the veil, "the Duchess is not with 
her." "No," replied the man; "but she is still at 
Versailles. She is working underground, mole-like ; 
but we shall know how to dig her out." The detest- 
able pair moved away from me, and I re-entered the 
palace, scarcely able to support myself. I thought it 
my duty to relate the dialogue of these two strangers 
to the Queen. She made me repeat the particulars 
to the King. 


About four in the afternoon I went across the 
terrace to Madame Victoire's apartments ; three men 
had stopped under the windows of the throne-chamber. 
" Here is that throne," said one of them aloud, "the 
vestiges of which will soon be sought for in vain." 
He added a thousand invectives against Their 
Majesties. I went in to the Princess, who was at 
work alone in her closet, behind a canvas blind, 
which prevented her from being seen by those without. 
The three men were still walking upon the terrace ; 
I showed them to her, and told her what they had 
said. She rose to take a nearer view of them, and 
informed me that one of them was named Saint- 
Huruge ; that he was a creature of the Duke 
d'Orleans, and was furious against government 
because he had been confined once under a lettre-de- 
cachet as a bad character. 

The King was not ignorant of all these popular 
threats ; he also knew the days on which money 
was scattered about Paris, and once or twice the Queen 
prevented my going there, saying there would cer- 
tainly be a riot the next day, because she knew that a 
quantity of crown pieces had been distributed in the 
faubourgs. 1 

On the evening of the 14th of July the King came 
to the Queen's apartments, where I was with Her 
Majesty alone. He conversed with her respecting the 
horrid report disseminated by the factious, that he had 

1 I have seen a six-franc crown piece, which certainly served 
to pay some wretch on the night of the 12th of July ; the words 
" Midnight, 12th of July, three pistols," were rather deeply engraven 
on it. They no doubt communicated a signal for the first 
insurrection. — Note by Madame Campan. 

4 2 


had the chamber of the National Assembly undermined 
in order to blow it up ; but, he added, that it became 
him to treat such silly assertions with contempt, as 
usual. I ventured to tell him that I had, the evening 
before, supped with M. Begouen, one of the deputies, 
who said that there were very respectable persons who 
thought that this horrible contrivance had been pro- 
posed without the King's knowledge. " Then," said 
His Majesty, " as the idea of such an atrocity did not 
seem absurd to so worthy a man as M. Begouen, I will 
order the chamber to be examined early to-morrow 
morning." In fact, it will be seen by the King's 
speech to the National Assembly on the 15th of July 
that the suspicions excited deserved his attention. " I 
know," says he in the speech in question, "that un- 
worthy insinuations have been spread about ; I know 
there are those who have dared to assert that your 
persons are not safe. Can it be necessary to give you 
assurances upon the subject of reports so culpable, 
which a knowledge of my disposition ought to have 
refuted in their origin ? " 

The proceedings of the 15th of July produced no 
mitigation of the disturbances. Successive deputations 
of poissardes came to request the King to visit Paris, 
where his presence alone would put an end to the 

On the 1 6th a committee was held in the King's 
apartments, at which a most important question was 
discussed — whether His Majesty should quit Versailles 
and set off with the troops, whom he had recently 
ordered to withdraw, or go to Paris to tranquillise the 
minds of the people. The Queen was for the departure. 


On the evening of the 15th she made me take all her 
jewels out of their cases, to collect them in one small 
box, which she might carry off in her own carriage. 
With my assistance she burnt a large quantity of 
papers, for Versailles was then threatened with an 
early visit of armed men from Paris. 

The Queen, on the morning of the 16th, before 
attending another committee at the King's, having got 
her jewels ready and looked over all her papers, gave me 
one folded up but not sealed, and desired me not to read 
it until she should give me an order to do so from the 
King, and that then I was to execute its contents. But 
she returned herself about ten in the morning ; the 
affair was decided ; the army was to go away without 
the King ; all those who were in imminent danger were 
to go at the same time. " The King will go to the 
Hotel de Ville to-morrow," said the Queen to me. 
" He did not choose this course for himself ; there 
were long debates on the question ; at last the King 
put an end to them, by rising and saying, ' Well, 
gentlemen, we must decide ; am I to go or to stay ? I am 
ready to do either.' 1 The majority were for the King's 
stay ; the time will show whether the right choice 
has been made." I returned the Queen the paper she 
had given me, which was now useless. She read it to 
me ; it contained her orders for the departure. I was 
to go with her, as well on account of my office about 
her person as to serve as a governess to Madam. 
The Queen tore the paper and said, with tears in her 
eyes, " When I wrote this, I thought it would be 
useful ; but fate has ordered otherwise, to the mis- 
fortune of us all, as I much fear." 


After the departure of the troops, the new Ad- 
ministration received thanks ; M. Necker was recalled. 
The artillery soldiers were undoubtedly corrupted. 
"Wherefore all these guns?" exclaimed the crowds 
of women who filled the streets. " Will you kill your 
mothers, your wives, your children ? " " Don't be 
afraid," answered the soldiers ; " these guns shall 
sooner be levelled against the tyrant's palace than 
against you." 

The Count d'Artois, the Prince de Conde and their 
children set off at the same time with the troops. 1 
The Duke and Duchess de Polignac, their daughter 
the Duchess de Guiche, the Countess Diana de Poli- 
gnac, the Duke's sister and the Abbe de Baliviere, 
also emigrated on the same night. Nothing could be 
more affecting than the parting of the Queen and her 
friend : the extremes of misfortune had banished from 
their minds the recollection of differences, to which 

i A few particulars, honourable to the bravery of the Prince 
de Conde and relative to the birth of the Duke d'Enghien, which 
latter appear the more remarkable and affecting, when compared 
with his tragical end, will not be read without interest. 

The Prince de Conde acquired reputation in his youth. 
Instances were related of his courageous behaviour at the battle 
of Artenback, in the Seven Years' War. It was said that on being 
requested to remove ten paces to the left in order to avoid the 
fire of a battery which was making horrid slaughter by his side, he 
replied to M. de Touraille, " I find none of these precautions in 
the history of the Great Conde." 

He afterwards distinguished himself at the battle of Minden, 
in 1759, charging the enemy at the head of his reserve, over a 
piece of meadow strewed with the bodies of officers of the gen- 
darmerie and carbineers. His talents displayed themselves to still 
greater advantage when he had a separate body of troops under 
his command, with which he gained several advantages over the 
Prince of Brunswick. Louis XV., by way of reward, gave him 
the enemy's cannon ; and the Prince of Brunswick, afterwards 
visiting him at Chantilly and not finding the guns there, the Prince 
de Conde having had them removed out of sight, said, " You were 
determined to conquer me twice — in war by your arms, and by 


political opinions alone had given rise. The Queen 
several times wished to go and embrace her once 
more after their sorrowful adieu, but her motions 
were too closely watched, and she was compelled to 
forego this last consolation. She, however, desired M. 
Campan to be present at the departure of the Duchess, 
and gave him a purse of 500 louis, requesting him 
to insist upon her allowing the Queen to lend her 
that sum, to defray her expenses on the road. The 
Queen added that she knew her situation, that she 
had often calculated her income, and the expenses 
occasioned by her place at Court; that both husband 
and wife, having no other fortune than their official 
salaries, could not possibly have saved anything, 
however differently people might think at Paris. 
M. Campan remained till midnight with the Duchess 
to see her get into her carriage. She was disguised 

your forbearance in peace." The battle of Johannisberg carried 
his reputation to its height, for with an inferior reserve, he 
gained a complete victory over Prince Ferdinand. He held his 
council of war in the midst of a fire of musketry and remained 
master of the field of battle. 

The Duke de Bourbon, the son of the Prince de Conde, 
when scarcely past childhood, became enamoured of Mademoi- 
selle d' Orleans and showed so much attachment that he was 
married to that Princess at the age of fourteen, though she was 
more than six years older than himself.* But it was determined 
that he should travel a year or two before he should be suffered 
to cohabit with his wife; he eluded the vigilance of those ap- 
pointed to watch him and carried her off from the convent in 
which she was placed. The Duchess de Bourbon was brought 
to bed of the Duke d'Enghien, in 1771, after having suffered 
pains which women alone can conceive for forty-eight hours. 
The child was born perfectly black and motionless. He was 
wrapped in linen, steeped in spirit of wine ; but this experiment 
had nearly proved fatal to him, for by some means the linen 
took fire. The accident was, however, prevented from becoming 
fatal by the care of the accoucheur and physician. — Note by 
the Editor. 

* It was on occasion of this marriage that Laujon composed his pretty 
piece, called The Lover of Fifteen. 


as a femme de chambre, and got up in front of the 
berlin. She requested M. Campan to speak of her 
frequently to the Queen, and then quitted for ever 
that palace, that favour and that influence which 
had raised her up such cruel enemies. On their 
arrival at Sens the travellers found the people in a 
state of insurrection ; they asked all those who came 
from Paris whether the Polignacs were still with 
the Queen. A group of inquisitive persons put that 
question to the Abbe de Baliviere, who answered 
them in the firmest tone, and with the most cavalier, 
air, that they were far enough from Versailles, and 
that we had got rid of all such bad people. At 
the following stage the postilion got upon the door- 
step and said to the Duchess, "Madam, there are 
some good people left in the world ; I recognised 
you all at Sens." They gave the worthy fellow a 
handful of gold. 

On the breaking out of these disturbances an old 
man, above seventy years of age, gave the Queen 
an extraordinary proof of attachment and fidelity. 
M. Peraque, a rich inhabitant of the colonies, father 
of M. d'Oudenarde, was coming from Brussels to 
Paris; while changing horses he was met by a young 
man who was leaving France, and who recommended 
him if he brought any letters from foreign countries 
to burn them immediately, especially if he had any 
for the Queen. M. Peraque had one from the Arch- 
duchess, the Governante of the Low Countries, for 
Her Majesty. He thanked the stranger, and care- 
fully concealed his packet ; but as he approached 
Paris the insurrection appeared to him so general 


and so violent that he thought no means could be 
relied on for securing this letter from seizure. He 
took upon him to unseal it, and learned it by heart, 
which was a wonderful effort for a man at his time 
of life, as it contained four pages of writing. On his 
arrival at Paris he wrote it down, and then presented 
it to the Queen, telling her that the feelings of an 
old and faithful subject had given him courage to 
form and execute such a resolution. The Queen 
received M. Peraque in her closet and expressed her 
gratitude in an affecting manner, most honourable 
to the respectable old man. Her Majesty thought 
the young stranger who had apprised him of the 
state of Paris was Prince George, of Hesse-Darm- 
stadt, who was much attached to her, and who left 
Paris at that very time. 

The Marchioness de Tourzel succeeded the Duchess 
de Polignac. She was selected by the Queen as being 
the mother of a family and a woman of irreproachable 
conduct, and who had superintended the education of 
her own daughters with the greatest success. 

The King went to Paris on the 17th of July, 
accompanied by the Marshal de Beauvau, the Duke 
de Villeroy, and the Duke de Villequier; he also took 
the Count d'Estaing 1 and the Marquis de Nesle, who 
were then very popular, with him in his carriage. 
Twelve body-guards and the town-guard of Versailles 
escorted him to the Pont-du-}our, near Sevres, where 
the Parisian guard was waiting for him. His depar- 

1 The Count used to go and dine with the butchers at Ver- 
sailles, and nattered the people by the meanest condescensions. — 
Note by Madame Campan. 


ture caused equal grief and alarm to his friends, 
notwithstanding the calmness he evinced. The Queen 
restrained her tears and shut herself up in her private 
rooms with her family. She sent for several persons 
belonging to her Court. Their doors were locked ; 
terror had driven them away. A deadly silence 
reigned throughout the palace; fear was at its height; 
the King was hardly expected to return. 1 The Queen 
had a robe prepared for her, and sent orders to her 
stables to have all her equipages ready. She wrote 
an address of a few lines for the Assembly, determin- 
ing to go thither with her family, the officers of her 
palace and her servants, if the King should be detained 
prisoner at Paris. She got this address by heart. I 
remember it began with these words : " Gentlemen, 
I come to place in your hands the wife and family of 
your Sovereign ; do not suffer those who have been 
united in heaven to be put asunder on earth." While 
she was repeating this address her voice was often 
interrupted by her tears, and by the sorrowful exclama- 
tion, " They will never let him return ! " 

It was past four when the King, who had left 
Versailles at ten in the morning, entered the Hotel de 
Ville. At length, at six in the evening, M. de Lastours, 
the King's first page, arrived ; he was not half an hour 
in coming from the Barriere de la Conference to Ver- 
sailles. Everybody knows that the moment of calm 
at Paris was that in which the Sovereign received 
the tricoloured cockade from M. Bailly, and placed 

1 For the particulars of this journey, see Ferriere's Memoirs, 
where they are related with equal feeling and sincerity. — Note by 
the Editor. 


it in his hat. A shout of " Vive le Roi ! " arose on all 
sides ; it had not been once uttered before. The King 
breathed again at that moment, and, with tears in his 
eyes, exclaimed that his heart stood in need of such 
shouts from the people. One of his equerries (M. de 
Cubieres) told him the people loved him, and that he 
ought never to have doubted it. The King replied in 
accents of profound sensibility : " Cubieres, the French 
loved Henry IV., and what King ever better deserved 
to be beloved? n * 

His return to Versailles filled his family with in- 
expressible joy. In the arms of the Queen, his sister, 
and his children, he congratulated himself that no 
accident had happened, and it was then that he 
repeated several times, " Happily, no blood has been 
shed, and I swear that never shall a drop of French 
blood be shed by my order " — a determination full 
of humanity, but too openly avowed in such factious 
times ! 

i Louis XVI. cherished the memory of Henry IV. He at 
that moment thought of his deplorable end ; but he long before 
regarded him as a model for himself. This is what Soulavie says 
on the subject : 

" A tablet, with the inscription Resurrexit, placed upon the 
pedestal of the statue of Henry IV. on the accession of Louis XVI. 
nattered him exceedingly. ' What a fine compliment would that be,' 
said he, ' were it but true. Tacitus himself never wrote anything so 
concise or so happy.' 

" Louis XVI. wished to take the reign of that Prince for a 
model. In the following year the party that raised a commotion 
among the people on account of the dearness of corn removed the 
tablet inscribed Resurrexit from the statue of Henry IV. and placed 
it under that of Louis XV., whose memory was then detested. 
Louis XVI., who was informed of it, withdrew into his private 
apartments, where he was found in a fever shedding tears ; and 
during the whole of that day he could not be prevailed upon either 
to dine, walk out, or sup. From this circumstance we may judge 
what he endured at the commencement of the Revolution, when he 
was accused of not loving the French people." — Note by the 

VOL. II 4 


The King's last measure raised a hope in many 
that general tranquillity would soon enable the Assem- 
bly to resume its labours and bring its session to a 
close. The Queen never flattered herself with so 
favourable a result. M. Bailly's speech to the King 
equally wounded her pride and hurt her feelings: 
" Henry IV. conquered his people, and here are the 
people conquering their King." The word conquest 
offended her ; she never forgave M. Bailly for his fine 
academical antithesis. 

Five days after the King's visit to Paris, the depar- 
ture of the troops, and the removal of the Princes and 
some of the nobility, whose influence seemed to alarm 
the people, a horrible deed, committed by hired 
assassins, proved that the King had descended from 
his throne without having effected a reconciliation 
with his people. 

M. Foulon, who was added to the administration 
while M. de Broglie was commanding the army assem- 
bled at Versailles, had concealed himself at Viry. He 
was there recognised, and the peasants seized him and 
dragged him to the Hotel de Ville. The cry for death 
was heard in the Assembly. The electors, the members 
of the committee, and M. de la Fayette, at that time 
the idol of Paris, in vain endeavoured to save the un- 
fortunate man. After tormenting him in a manner the 
particulars of which make humanity shudder, his body 
was dragged about the streets and to the Palais Royal, 
and his heart was carried — shall I tell it ? — by women 
— in the midst of a bunch of white carnations. 1 

i This horrible circumstance is related nowhere else. No 
historian, no record of the time, makes any mention of it. It is 


M. Berthier, M. Foulon's son-in-law, intendant of 
Paris, was seized at Compiegne at the same time 
that his father-in-law was seized at Viry, and treated 
with still more relentless cruelty. 

The Queen was always persuaded that this 
horrible deed was occasioned by some piece of in- 
discretion ; and she imparted to me that M. Foulon 
had drawn up two memorials for the direction of 
the King's conduct at the time of his being called 
to Court on the removal of M. Necker; and that 
these memorials contained two schemes, of totally 
different nature, for extricating the King from the 
dreadful situation in which he was placed. In the 
first of these projects, M. Foulon expressed himself 
without reserve respecting the criminal views of the 
Duke d'Orleans ; said that he ought to be put under 
arrest, and that no time should be lost in commencing 
a prosecution against him while the criminal tribunals 
were still in existence. He likewise pointed out such 
deputies as should be apprehended at the same time, 
and advised the King not to part with his army until 
order was restored. 

His other plan was that the King ought to make 
himself master of the Revolution before its complete 
explosion. He advised His Majesty to go to the 
Assembly, and there, in person, to demand the minute 
books and papers, and to make the greatest sacrifices 
to satisfy the legitimate wishes of the people, and 
not to give the factious time to enlist them in aid 
of their criminal designs. Madame Adelaide had 

probable the fact never took place — at least, for the honour of 
humanity, we ought to believe so. — Note by the Editor. 



M. Foulon's two memorials read to her in the 
presence of four or five persons. One of them 1 was 
very intimate with Madame de Stael, and that 
intimacy gave the Queen reason to believe that the 
opposite party had gained information of M. Foulon's 

It is known that young Barnave, during a lament- 
able aberration of mind, since expiated by sincere 
repentance, and even by death, uttered these atrocious 
words, " Is then the blood now flowing so pure ? " 
when M. Berthier's son came to the Assembly to 
invoke the eloquence and filial piety of M. de Lally 
to entreat that body to save his father's life. I have 
since been informed that a son of M. Foulon, having 
returned to France after these first ebullitions of the 
Revolution, saw Barnave, and gave him one of those 
memorials, in which M. Foulon advised Louis XVI. 
to prevent the revolutionary explosion by voluntarily 
granting all that the Assembly required before the 
14th of July. "Read this memorial," said he; "I 
have brought it to increase your remorse ; it is the 
only revenge I wish to inflict on you." Barnave 
burst into tears, and said all that the profoundest 
grief could dictate. 

1 Count Louis de Narbonne. — Note by Madame Campan. 



Creation of the National Guard — Departure of the Abbe de 
Vermond — The French guards quit Versailles — Entertainment 
given by the body-guards to the regiment of Flanders — The 
King, the Queen and the Dauphin are present at it — Pro- 
ceedings of the 5th and 6th of October — Detestable threats 
against the Queen — Devotedness of one of the body-guard — 
The life of Marie Antoinette in danger — The Royal Family 
repair to Paris — Residence at the Tuileries — Change of feel- 
ing — The Queen applauded with enthusiasm by the women 
of the populace — Private life — Ingenuous observations of the 
Dauphin — Affecting anecdote — It is proposed to the Queen 
to quit her family and France — Her noble refusal — She de- 
votes her attention to the education of her children — Picture 
of the Court — Anecdote respecting Luckner — Exasperating 
state of feeling. 

After the 14th of July, by a manoeuvre for which 
the most skilful factions of any age might have envied 
the Assembly, the whole population of France was 
armed and organised into a National Guard. A report 
was spread throughout France on the same day, and 
almost at the same hour, that four thousand brigands 
were marching towards such towns or villages as it 
was wished to induce to take up arms. Never was any 
plan better laid; terror instantly spread all over the 
kingdom, and found its way into the most retired dis- 
tricts. In 1 79 1 a peasant showed me a steep rock in 
the mountains of the Mont d'Or on which his wife 
concealed herself on the day when the four thousand 
brigands were to attack their village, and told me 


they had been obliged to make use of ropes to let 
her down from the place which fear alone had enabled 
her to climb. 

Versailles was certainly the place where the national 
military uniform appeared most offensive. All the King's 
valets, even of the lowest class, were metamorphosed 
into lieutenants or captains ; all the musicians of the 
chapel ventured one day to make their appearance at 
the King's Mass in a military costume ; and an Italian 
soprano sang a motet in the garb of a grenadier cap- 
tain. The King was very much offended at this conduct, 
and forbade his servants to appear in his presence in so 
unbecoming a dress. 

The departure of the Duchess de Polignac naturally 
left the Abbe de Vermond exposed to all the dangers 
of favouritism. He was already talked of as an adviser 
dangerous to the nation. The Queen was alarmed at 
it, and recommended him to remove to Valenciennes, 
where Count Esterhazy was in command. He was 
obliged to leave that place in a few days and set off 
for Vienna, where he remained ever after. 

On the night of the 17th of July the Queen, being 
unable to sleep, made me watch by her until three in 
the morning. I was extremely surprised to hear her 
say that it would be a very long time before the 
Abbe de Vermond would make his appearance at 
Court again, even if the existing ferment should sub- 
side, because he would not readily be forgiven for 
his attachment to the Archbishop of Sens, and that 
she had lost in him a very devoted servant. Then, 
on a sudden, she remarked to me that, although 
he was not much prejudiced against me, I could 


not have much regard for him, because he could 
nor bear my father-in-law to hold the place of 
secretary of the closet. She went on to say that 
I must have studied the Abbe's character, and, as 
I had sometimes drawn her portraits of living 
characters, in imitation of those which were fashion- 
able in the time of Louis XIV., she desired me 
to sketch that of the Abbe, as its features struck 
me, without any reserve. My astonishment was ex- 
treme ; the Queen spoke of the man who, the day 
before, had been in the greatest intimacy with her 
with the utmost coolness, and as a person whom, 
perhaps, she might never see again ! I remained 
petrified ; the Queen persisted, and told me that he 
had been the enemy of my family for more than 
twelve years, without having been able to injure it 
in her opinion ; so that I had no occasion to dread 
his return, however severely I might depict him. 
I promptly collected my ideas about the favourite; 
but I only remember that the portrait was drawn 
with sincerity, except that everything which could 
denote hatred was kept out of it. I shall quote but 
one extract from it : I said that he had been born 
talkative and indiscreet, and had assumed a character 
of singularity and bluntness in order to conceal those 
two failings. The Queen interrupted me by saying, 
" Ah ! how true that is ! " I have since that time 
had an opportunity of discovering that, notwith- 
standing the high favour which the Abbe de Vermond 
enjoyed, the Queen took precautions to guard herself 
against an ascendency the consequences of which she 
could not calculate. 


On the death of hiy father-in-law his executors 
placed in my hands a box containing a few jewels, 
deposited by the Queen with M. Campan upon the 
departure from Versailles of the 6th of October, and 
two sealed packets, each inscribed, " Campan will take 
care of these papers for me." I took the two packets 
to Her Majesty, who kept the jewels and the larger 
packet, and, returning me the smaller, said, " Take 
care of that for me as your father-in-law did." 

After the fatal 10th of August, 1792, at the 
moment when my house was about to be surrounded,, 
I determined to burn the most interesting papers of 
which I was the depositary ; I thought it, however, 
my duty to open this packet, which it might perhaps 
be necessary for me to preserve at all hazards. I 
saw that it contained a letter from the Abbe de 
Vermond to the Queen. I have already related that 
in the earlier days of Madame de Polignac's favour 
he determined to remove from Versailles, and that the 
Queen had recalled him by means of the Count de 
Mercy. This letter contained nothing but certain 
conditions for his return. It was the most whimsical 
of treaties ; I confess I greatly regretted being under 
the necessity of destroying it. He reproached the 
Queen with her infatuation for the Countess Jules, 
her family and associates, and told her several truths 
about the possible unfortunate consequences of a 
friendship which ranked that young lady among the 
favourites of Queens of France, a title always disliked 
by the nation. He complained that his advice was 
neglected, and then came to the conditions of his 
return to Versailles. After strong assurances that he 


would never in all his life aim at the higher Church 
dignities, he said that he delighted in an unbounded 
confidence, and that he asked but two things of Her 
Majesty as essential : the first was, not to give him 
her orders through any third person, but to write to 
him herself; he complained much that he had had 
no letter in her own hand since he had left Vienna; 
then he demanded of her an income of 80,000 livres, 
in ecclesiastical benefices ; and concluded by saying 
that if she condescended to assure him herself that 
she would set about procuring him what he wished, 
her letter would be sufficient in itself to show him that 
Her Majesty had accepted the two conditions he ven- 
tured to make respecting his return. No doubt the 
letter was written ; at least it is very certain that 
the benefices were granted, and that his absence from 
Versailles lasted only a single week. 

In the course of July, 1789, the regiment of French 
guards, which had been in a state of insurrection 
from the latter end of June, abandoned its colours. 
One single company of grenadiers remained faithful to 
its post at Versailles. The Baron de Leval com- 
manded this company. He came every evening to 
request me to give the Queen an account of the dis- 
position of his soldiers ; but M. de la Fayette having 
sent them a note, they also deserted during the night 
and joined their comrades, who were enrolled in the 
Paris guard; so that Louis XVI. on rising saw no 
guard whatever at the various posts. 

The mad decrees of the 4th of August, by which 
all privileges were abolished, are well known. 1 The 

1 "It was during the night of the 4th of August," says Rivarol, 


King sanctioned all that tended to the diminution of 
his own personal gratifications ; but refused his con- 
sent to the other decrees of that tumultuous night. 
This refusal was one of the chief causes of the 
ferments of the month of October. 

In the early part of September meetings were 
held at the Palais Royal, and propositions made to 
go to Versailles. It was said to be necessary to 
separate the King from his evil counsellors, and 
keep him, as well as the Dauphin, at the Louvre. 
The proclamations by the municipal officers of the 
district for the restoration of tranquillity were in- 
effectual ; but M. de la Fayette succeeded this time 
in dispersing the populace. The Assembly declared 
itself permanent ; and during the whole of September, 
in which no doubt the preparations were made for 
the great insurrections of the following month, the 
Court was not disturbed. 

" that the demagogues of the Nobility, wearied with a protracted 
discussion upon the rights of man, and burning to signalise their 
zeal, rose all at once, and with loud exclamations called for the last 
sighs of the feudal system. This demand electrified the Assembly. 
" All heads were frenzied. The younger sons of good families, 
having nothing, were delighted to sacrifice their too fortunate elders 
upon the altar of the country ; a few country curates felt no 
less pleasure in renouncing the benefices of others; but what 
posterity will hardly believe is that the same enthusiasm in- 
fected the whole Nobility ; zeal walked hand in hand with 
malevolence ; they made sacrifice upon sacrifice. And as in 
Japan the point of honour lies in a man's killing himself in 
the presence of a person who has offended him, so did the 
deputies of the Nobility vie in striking at themselves and their 
constituents. The people who were present at this noble 
conflict increased the intoxication of their new allies by their 
shouts ; and the deputies of the Commons, seeing that this 
memorable night would only afford them profit without honour, 
consoled their vanity by wondering at what Nobility, grafted 
upon the Third Estate, could do. They named that night ' The 
night of dupes'; the Nobles called it 'The night of sacrifices.'" 
— Note by the Editor. 


The King had the Flanders regiment removed 
to Versailles ; unfortunately the idea of the officers 
of that regiment fraternising with the body-guards 
was conceived, and the latter invited the former to 
a dinner, which was given in the great theatre of 
Versailles, and not in the Saloon of Hercules, as 
some chroniclers say. Boxes were appropriated to 
various persons who wished to be present at this 
entertainment. The Queen told me she had been 
advised to make her appearance on this occasion ; 
but that, under existing circumstances, she thought 
such a step might do more harm than good ; and 
that, moreover, neither she nor the King ought 
directly to have anything to do with such a festival. 
She ordered me to go, and desired me to observe 
everything closely in order to give a faithful account 
of the whole affair. 

The tables were set out upon the stage ; around 
them were placed one of the body-guard and an 
officer of the Flanders regiment alternately. There 
was a numerous orchestra in the room, and the boxes 
were filled with spectators. The air, " O Richard ! 
O mon Roi ! " was played, and shouts of " Vive le 
Roi ! " shook the roof for several minutes. I had 
with me one of my nieces and a young person 
brought up with Madame by Her Majesty. They 
were crying " Vive le Roi ! " with all their might 
when a deputy of the Third Estate, who was in the 
next box to mine, and whom I had never seen, 
called to them and reproached them for their ex- 
clamations ; it hurt him, he said, to see young and 
handsome Frenchwomen brought up in such servile 


habits, screaming so outrageously for the life of one 
man, and with true fanaticism exalting him in their 
hearts above even their dearest relations. He told 
them what contempt worthy American women would 
feel on seeing Frenchwomen thus corrupted from 
their earliest infancy. My niece replied with tolerable 
spirit ; and I requested the deputy to put an end 
to the subject, which could by no means produce 
him any satisfaction, inasmuch as the young persons 
who were with me lived, as well as myself, for the 
sole purpose of serving and loving the King. While 
I was thus checking the conversation, what was my 
astonishment at seeing the King, the Queen and 
the Dauphin enter the theatre ! It was M. de 
Luxembourg who had effected this change of de- 
termination in the Queen. 

A general enthusiasm prevailed. The moment 
Their Majesties arrived, the orchestra renewed the 
air I have just mentioned, and afterwards played a 
song in The Deserter, " Can we grieve those whom 
we love ? " which also made a powerful impression 
upon those present. On all sides were heard praises 
of Their Majesties, exclamations of affection, ex- 
pressions of regret for what they had suffered, clapping 
of hands, and shouts of "Vive le Roi!" "Vive la 
Reine ! " "Vive le Dauphin!" It has been said 
that white cockades were worn on this occasion. 
That was not the case; the fact is, that a few young 
men belonging to the National Guard of Versailles, 
who were invited to the entertainment, turned the 
white lining of their national cockades outwards. 
All the military men quitted the theatre and re- 


conducted the King and his family to their apart- 
ments. There was a mixture of intoxication with all 
these ebullitions of joy : a thousand extravagances 
were committed by the military, and many of them 
danced under the King's windows; a soldier belonging 
to the Flanders regiment climbed up to the balcony 
of the King's chamber in order to shout " Vive le 
Roi!" nearer His Majesty. This very soldier, as I 
have been told by several officers of the corps, was 
one of the first and most dangerous of the insur- 
gents in the riots of the 5th and 6th of October. 
On the same evening another soldier of that regiment 
killed himself with a sword. One of my relations, 
chaplain to the Queen, who supped with me, saw 
him stretched out in a corner of the Place d'Armes; 
he went to him to give him spiritual assistance, and 
received his confession and his last sighs. He de- 
stroyed himself from regret at having suffered himself 
to be corrupted by the enemies of his King, and said 
that since he had seen him, and the Queen and 
Dauphin, remorse had turned his brain. 

I returned home delighted with all that I had 
seen. I found a great many people there. M. de 
Beaumetz, deputy for Arras, listened to my descrip- 
tion with a chilling air, and when I had finished, 
told me that all that had passed was terrific ; that 
he knew the disposition of the Assembly, and that 
the greatest misfortunes would follow close upon the 
drama of that night, and he begged my leave to 
withdraw that he might take time for deliberate 
reflection whether he should on the very next day 
emigrate, or pass over to the left side of the Assembly. 


He adopted the latter course, and never appeared 
again among my associates. 

On the 2nd of October the military entertainment 
was followed up by a breakfast given at the hotel of 
the body-guards. It is said that a discussion took 
place whether they should not march against the 
Assembly ; but I am utterly ignorant of what passed 
at that breakfast. From that moment Paris was 
constantly in commotion ; there were continual mobs, 
and the most virulent proposals were heard in all 
public places ; the conversation was invariably about 
proceeding to Versailles. The King and Queen did 
not seem apprehensive of such a measure, and took 
no precaution against it. Even when the army had 
actually left Paris, on the evening of the 5th of 
October, the King was shooting at Meudon, and the 
Queen was entirely alone in her gardens at Trianon, 
which she then beheld for the last time in her life. 
She was sitting in her grotto, absorbed in painful 
reflection, when she received a note from the Count 
de Saint-Priest, entreating her to return to Versailles. 
M. de Cubieres at the same time went off to request 
that the King would leave his sport and return to his 
palace ; the King did so on horseback, and very 
leisurely. A few minutes afterwards he was informed 
that a numerous body of women, which preceded the 
Parisian army, was at Chaville, at the entrance of 
the avenue from Paris. 

The scarcity of bread and the entertainment of 
the body-guards were the pretexts for the insurrec- 
tion of the 5th and 6th of October; but it is clear 
to demonstration that this new movement of the 


people was a part of the original plan of the factious, 
insomuch as, ever since the beginning of September, 
a report had been industriously circulated that the 
King intended to withdraw, with his family and 
ministers, to some stronghold ; and at all the popular 
assemblies there had been always much said about 
going to Versailles to seize the King. 

At first only women showed themselves ; the 
grated doors of the castle were closed, and the body- 
guard and Flanders regiment were drawn up in the 
Place d'Armes. As the details of that dreadful day 
are given with precision in several works, I will only 
observe that consternation and disorder reigned 
throughout the interior of the castle. 

I was not in attendance on the Queen at this time. 
M. Campan remained with her till two in the morning. 
As he was leaving her, she condescendingly, and with 
infinite kindness, desired him to make me easy as to 
the dangers of the moment, and to repeat to me M. de 
la Fayette's own words, which he had just used on 
soliciting the Royal Family to retire to bed, undertaking 
to answer for his army. 

The Queen was far from relying upon M. de la 
Fayette's loyalty ; but she has often told me that she 
believed on that day that La Fayette, having affirmed 
to the King, in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, 
that he would answer for the army of Paris, would 
not risk his honour as a commander, and was sure of 
being able to redeem his pledge. She also thought the 
Parisian army was wholly devoted to him, and that all 
he said about his being forced to march upon Versailles 
was mere pretence. 


On the first intimation of the march of the Parisians, 
the Count de Saint-Priest prepared Rambouillet for the 
reception of the King, his family and suite, and the 
carriages were even drawn out ; but a few cries of 
" Vive le Roi! " when'the women reported His Majesty's 
favourable answer, occasioned the intention of going 
away to be given up, and orders were given to the 
troops to withdraw. 1 The body-guards were, however, 
assailed with stones and musketry while they were 
passing from the Place d'Armes to their hotel. Alarm 
revived ; again it was thought necessary that the 
Royal Family should go away ; some carriages still 
remained ready for travelling ; they were called for ; 
they were stopped by a wretched player belonging to 
the theatre of the town, seconded by the mob: the 
opportunity for flight had been missed. 

The insurrection was directed against the Queen in 
particular. I shudder even now at the recollection of 
the poissardes, or rather furies, who wore white aprons, 
which, they screamed out, were intended to receive the 
bowels of Marie Antoinette, and that they would make 

1 We shall not urge the necessity of comparing this account 
with the particulars given in the Memoirs of Ferrieres, Weber 
and Bailly ; all those readers who desire information will feel the 
utility of this research. But a still more important testimony 
exists respecting these events, which had so unfortunate an in- 
fluence ; it is the testimony of a person who was at the time one 
of the King's ministers : it is, in short, the testimony of the 
very Count de Saint-Priest, who is mentioned in this passage of 
Madame Campan's Memoirs. M. de Saint-Priest, whose rank 
at Court, whose place in the council, and whose attachment for 
the King, enabled him to see and know all that was passing, has 
left a valuable account of events which his advice might have 
prevented, or at least delayed, if it had been followed. We owe 
this account to the kindness of M. de Saint-Priest, the Minister's 
son. It will be found among the Historical Illustrations (No. 2).- 



cockades of them ; mixing the most obscene expressions 
with these horrible threats. Such are the atrocious 
sentiments with which the ignorance and cruelty, to 
be found in the mass of every populace, can inspire 
them in times of disturbance ! So necessary is it 
that a vigorous and parental authority should, while 
it defends good citizens against their own failings, 
also guard them against all the calamities brought on 
by factions. 

The Queen went to bed at two in the morning and 
went to sleep, being tired out with the events of so 
distressing a day. She had ordered her two women 
to go to bed, imagining there was nothing to dread, 
at least, for that night ; but the unfortunate Princess 
was indebted for her life to that feeling of attachment 
which prevented their obeying her. My sister, who 
was one of the two ladies in question, informed me the 
next day of all that I am about to relate. 

On leaving the Queen's bed-chamber these ladies 
called their femmes de chambre, and all the four remained 
sitting together against Her Majesty's bedroom door. 
About half-past four in the morning they heard horrible 
yells and discharges of firearms. One ran in to the 
Queen to awaken her and get her out of bed ; my 
sister flew to the place from which the tumult seemed 
to proceed. She opened the door of the ante-chamber 
which leads to the great guard-room, and beheld one 
of the body-guard holding his musket across the door, 
and attacked by a mob who were striking at him. His 
face was covered with blood. He turned round and 
exclaimed, " Save the Queen, madam ! they are come 
to assassinate her." She hastily shut the door upon 
vol 11 5 


the unfortunate victim of duty, fastened it with the 
great bolt, and took the same precaution on leaving 
the next room. On reaching the Queen's chamber, 
she cried out to her, " Get up, madam ! don't stay 
to dress yourself ! fly to the King's apartment." The 
terrified Queen threw herself out of bed ; they put a 
petticoat upon her without tying it, and the two ladies 
conducted her to the "bull's-eye." A door which 
led from the Queen's toilette - closet to that apart- 
ment had never before been fastened but on her side ; 
it was found to be secured on the other side. What 
a dreadful moment ! They knocked repeatedly with 
all their strength ; a servant of one of the King's 
valets de chambre came and opened the door ; the 
Queen entered the King's chamber, but he was not 
there. Alarmed for the Queen's life, he had gone 
down the staircase and through the corridors under 
the "bull's-eye," by means of which he was accus- 
tomed to go to the Queen's apartment without being 
under the necessity of crossing that room. He entered 
Her Majesty's room and found no one there but some 
body-guards who had taken refuge in it. The King, 
unwilling to expose their lives, told them to wait a 
few minutes, and afterwards sent to desire them to 
go to the "bull's-eye." Madame de Tourzel, at that 
time governess of the children of France, had just 
taken Madame and the Dauphin to the King's apart- 
ments. The Queen saw her children again. The 
reader must imagine this scene of tenderness and 
despair. 1 

i It is in the middle of this very scene of tenderness and despair 
that certain Memoirs, recently published in England, have en- 


It is true that the assassins penetrated to the 
Queen's chamber, and pierced the bed with their 
swords. The fugitive body-guards were the only 
persons who entered it, and if the crowd had reached 
so far they would have been massacred. Besides, 
when the rebels had forced the doors of the ante- 
chamber, the footmen and officers on duty, knowing 
that the Queen was no longer in her apartments, 
told • them so with that air of truth which always 
carries conviction. The abandoned horde instantly 
rushed towards the "bull's-eye," hoping, no doubt, 
to intercept her on her way. 

Many have asserted that they recognised the 
Duke of Orleans at half-past four in the morning, 
in a great -coat and slouched hat, at the top of the 
marble staircase pointing out with his hand the 
guard-room which preceded the Queen's apartments. 
This fact was deposed to at the Chatelet by several 
individuals in the course of the enquiry instituted 
respecting the transactions of the 5th and 6th of 
October. 1 

deavoured to inflict the most cruel blow that could possibly be 
aimed at the Queen. Madame Campan cannot have read, without 
a sentiment of equal indignation and grief, what they have at- 
tempted to pass under the authority of her name. We shall not 
explain ourselves further, and we shall be commended for our 
reserve. We will merely add, that if they were desirous of putting 
an accusation against Marie Antoinette into the mouth of Madame 
Campan, they chose their time very ill in fixing precisely on the 
moment wherein she has represented that Princess in the most 
affecting and exalted point of view. — Note by the Editor. 

1 Justice and impartiality require us to direct the reader to the 
extract from the proceedings which accompany Weber's Memoirs. 
It will be well to consult with the Historical Illustrations (Note 2) we 
have before collected on that subject, those which are added under 
letter (E). — Note by the Editor. 


The prudence and honourable feelings of several 
officers of the Parisian guards, and the judicious 
conduct of M. de Vaudreuil, lieutenant-general of 
marine, and of M. de Chevanne, one of the King's 
guards, brought about an understanding between the 
grandees of the National Guard of Paris and the 
King's guard. The doors of the " bull's-eye " were 
closed, and the ante-chamber, which precedes that 
room, was filled with grenadiers who wanted to get 
in to massacre the guards. M. de Chevanne offered 
himself as a victim, if they wished for one, and. 
demanded of them what they would have. A report 
had been spread through the ranks that the body- 
guards set them at defiance, and that they all wore 
black cockades. M. de Chevanne showed them that 
he wore, as did the corps, the cockade of their 
uniform ; and promised that the guards should ex- 
change it for that of the nation. This was done ; they 
even went so far as to change the grenadiers' caps for 
the hats of the body-guards ; those who were on 
guard took off their shoulder-belts ; embracings and 
the transports of fraternisation instantly succeeded to 
the savage eagerness to murder the band which had 
showed so much fidelity to its Sovereign. The cry 
was now, " Vivent le Roi, la Nation et les Gardes- 
du-corps ! " 

The army occupied the Place d' Amies, all the court- 
yards of the chateau, and the entrance to the avenue. 
They called for the Queen to appear in the balcony ; 
she came forward with Madame and the Dauphin. 
There was a cry of " No children." Was this with 
a view to deprive her of the interest she inspired, 


accompanied as she was by her young family, or did 
the leaders of the democrats hope that some madman 
would venture to aim a mortal blow at her person ? 
The unfortunate Princess certainly was impressed with 
the latter idea, for she sent away her children, and, 
with her hands and eyes raised towards heaven, 
advanced upon the balcony like a self-devoted victim. 
A few voices shouted, "To Paris ! " The exclama- 
tion .soon became general. Before he agreed to this 
removal the King wished to consult the National 
Assembly, and caused that body to be invited to sit 
at the castle. Mirabeau opposed this measure. While 
these discussions were going forward it became more 
and more difficult to restrain the immense disorderly 
multitude. The King, without consulting anyone, now 
said to the people : " You wish, my children, that I 
should accompany you to Paris. I consent, but on 
condition that I shall not be separated from my wife 
and family." The King added that he required safety 
also for his guards. He was answered by shouts of 
"Vive le Roi, vivent les Gardes - du - corps ! " The 
guards, with their hats in the air turned so as to 
exhibit the cockade, shouted " Vive le Roi, vive la 
Nation ! " Shortly afterwards a general discharge of 
all the muskets took place in token of joy. The King 
and Queen set off from Versailles at one o'clock — the 
Dauphin, Madame the King's daughter, Monsieur, 
Madame, Madame Elizabeth and Madame de Tourzel 
were in the carriage ; the Princess de Chimay, the 
ladies of the bed-chamber for the week, and the King's 
suite and servants followed in Court carriages; a 
hundred deputies in carriages and the bulk of the 


Parisian army closed the procession. Great God ! 
what a procession ! 

The poissardes went before and around the carriage 
of Their Majesties crying, " We shall no longer want 
bread — we have the baker, the baker's wife and the 
baker's boy with us." In the midst of this troop of 
cannibals the heads of two murdered body-guards 
were carried on poles. The monsters who made 
trophies of them conceived the horrid idea of forcing 
a hairdresser of Sevres to dress them up and powder 
their bloody locks. The unfortunate man who was 
forced to perform this dreadful work died in conse- 
quence of the shock it gave him. 1 

The progress of the procession was so slow that it 
was near six in the evening when this august family, 
made prisoners by their own people, arrived at the 
Hotel de Ville. Bailly received them there ; they were 
placed upon a throne just when that of their ancestors 
had been overthrown. The King spoke in a firm yet 
condescending manner. He said that he always came with 
pleasure and confidence among the inhabitants of his good city 
of Paris. M. Bailly repeated this observation to the 
representatives of the Commune, who came to address 
the King ; but he forgot the word confidence. The 
Queen, instantly and loudly, reminded him of the 
omission. The King and Queen, their children and 

i Nothing can be more destitute of proof than the atrocity 
here spoken of by Madame Campan, and which is mentioned also 
in the Memoirs of Bertrand de Molleville ; it appears much 
better authenticated that the remains of the unfortunate body- 
guards who so nobly fell victims to their duty and fidelity were 
not borne, as was at first said, under the eyes of Marie Antoinette 
and the King. As Bertrand de Molleville has described this sad 
procession, we think it right to extract his description from his 
Memoirs. See Note (F). — Note by the Editor. 


Madame Elizabeth retired to the Tuileries. Nothing 
was ready for their reception there. All the lodging- 
rooms had been long given up to persons belonging 
to the Court ; they hastily quitted them on that very 
day, leaving their furniture, which was purchased by 
the Court. The Countess de la Marck, sister to the 
Marshals de Noailles and de Mouchy, was the occu- 
pier of the apartments which were now appropriated 
to the Queen. Monsieur and Madame retired to the 

The Queen had sent for me on the morning of the 
6th of October to leave me and my father-in-law in 
charge of her most valuable property. She took away 
only her casket of diamonds. Count Gouvernet de la 
Tour-du-Pin, to whom the military government of Ver- 
sailles was entrusted pro tempore, came and gave orders 
to the National Guard, which had taken possession of 
the apartments, to allow us to remove everything 
that we should deem necessary for the Queen's ac- 

I saw Her Majesty alone in her private apart- 
ments a moment before her departure for Paris. She 
could hardly speak ; tears bedewed her face, to which 
all the blood in her body seemed to have rushed. 
She condescended to embrace me, gave her hand to 
M. Campan 1 to kiss, and said to us, " Come imme- 
diately and settle at Paris. I will lodge you at the 
Tuileries. Come ! and do not leave me henceforward. 
Faithful servants at moments like these become useful 

1 Let me here pay a well-merited tribute to the memory of 
my father-in-law. In the course of that one night he declined 
from the highest pitch of health into a languishing condition, 
which brought him to the grave in September, 1791. 


friends. We are lost — dragged away, perhaps, to 
death ! When Kings become prisoners they have not 
long to live." 

I had frequent opportunities, during the course of 
our misfortunes, of observing that the people never 
obey factions with steadiness, but easily escape their 
control when reflection or some other cause reminds 
them of their duty. As soon as the most violent 
Jacobins had an opportunity of seeing the Queen 
more near at hand, of speaking to her and of hear- 
ing her voice, they became her most zealous partisans ; 
and, even when she was in the prison of the Temple, 
several of those who had contributed to place her 
there perished for having attempted to get her out 

On the morning of the 7th of October the same 
women who had the day before surrounded the carriage 
of the august prisoners, riding on cannons and utter- 
ing the most abusive language, assembled under the 
Queen's windows, upon the terrace of the castle, and 
desired to see her. Her Majesty appeared. Among 
mobs of this description there are always orators 
— that is to say, beings of more assurance than the 
rest. A woman of this description, setting up for 
counsellor, told her that she must now remove far 
from her all such courtiers as ruin Kings, and that 
she must love the inhabitants of her good city. The 
Queen answered that she had loved them at Versailles 
and would likewise love them at Paris. " Yes, yes,' 1 
said another ; " but on the \\th of July you wanted to 
besiege the city and have it bombarded ; and on the 6th of 
October you wanted to fly to the frontiers.'" The Queen 


replied affably that they had been told so and had 
believed it; that there lay the cause of the unhappi- 
ness of the people and of the best of Kings. A third 
addressed a few words to her in German. The Queen 
told her she did not understand, that she had become 
so entirely French as even to have forgotten her 
mother tongue. This declaration was answered with 
bravos and clapping of hands. They then desired her 
to make a compact with them. " Ah ! " said she, 
" how can I make a compact with you since you 
have no faith in that which my duty points out to 
me, and which for my own happiness I ought to 
respect?" They asked her for the ribbons and flowers 
out of her hat. Her Majesty unfastened them herself 
and divided them among the party, which for above 
half an hour cried out without ceasing, " Marie 
Antoinette for ever ! Our good Queen for ever ! " 

Two days after the King's arrival at Paris the city 
and the National Guard sent to request the Queen to 
appear at the theatre and prove, by her presence and 
the King's, that it was with pleasure they resided in 
their capital. I introduced the deputation which came 
to make this request. Her Majesty replied that she 
should have infinite pleasure in acceding to the in- 
vitation of the city of Paris, but that time must be 
allowed her to soften the recollection of the distressing 
events which had just occurred, and from which she 
had suffered too much. She added that having come 
into Paris, preceded by the heads of the faithful 
guards who had perished before the door of their 
Sovereign, she could not think that such an entry 
into the capital ought to be followed by rejoicings ; 


but that the happiness she had always felt in appear- 
ing in the midst of the inhabitants of Paris was not 
effaced from her memory, and that she should enjoy 
it again, as heretofore, as soon as she should find 
herself able to do so. 

Their Majesties found some consolations in their 
private life. 1 From Madame's gentleness of manners, 
and her tender attachment to the august authors 
of her days ; from the accomplishments and vivacity 
of the little Dauphin, and the attention and tender- 
ness of the pious Princess Elizabeth, they still, 
derived moments of happiness. The young Prince 
gave daily proofs of sensibility and penetration. He 
was not yet beyond female care; but a private tutor 2 
gave him all the instruction suitable to his age. His 
memory was highly cultivated, and he recited verses 
with much grace and feeling. 

The day after the arrival of the Court at Paris, 
terrified at hearing some noise in the gardens of the 
Tuileries, he threw himself into the arms of the Queen, 
crying out, " Good God, mamma ! is to-day yesterday 
again ? " A few days after this affecting exclamation 
he went up to the King, and looked at him with a 

i " On the 19th of October, that is to say, thirteen days 
after he had taken up his abode at Paris, the King went, almost 
alone and on foot, to review some detachments of the National 
Guard. After the review, Louis XVI. met with a child sweeping 
the street, who asked him for money. The child called the King 
M. le Chevalier. His Majesty gave him six francs. The little 
s\veeper, surprised at receiving so large a sum, cried out, ' Oh ! 
I have no change ; you will give me money another time.' A 
person who accompanied the monarch said to the child, ' Keep 
it all, my friend. The gentleman is not chevalier ; he is the eldest 
of the family.' " — Note by the Editor. 

2 The Abbe Davout, whose talents were proved by the 
astonishing progress of the young Prince. — Note by Madame 


pensive air. The King asked him what he wanted. 
He answered, that he had something very serious to 
say to him. The King having prevailed on him to 
explain himself, the young Prince requested to know 
why his people, who formerly loved him so well, were 
all at once angry with him, and what he had done to 
irritate them so much. His father took him upon 
his knees, and spoke to him nearly as follows: "I 
wished, child, to render the people still happier than 
they were ; I wanted money to pay the expenses 
occasioned by wars. I asked my people for money, 
as my predecessors have always done. Magistrates 
composing the Parliament opposed it, and said that 
my people alone had a right to consent to it. I 
assembled the principal inhabitants of every town, 
whether distinguished by birth, fortune or talents, at 
Versailles ; that is what is called the States-General. 
When they were assembled they required concessions 
of me which I could not make, either with due 
respect for myself or with justice to you, who will 
be my successor. Wicked men, inducing the people 
to rise, have occasioned the excesses of the last few 
days; the people must not be blamed for them.'' 

The Queen made the young Prince clearly com- 
prehend that he ought to treat the commanders of 
battalions, the officers of the National Guard, and 
all the Parisians who were about him, with affability. 
The child took great pains to please all these people; 
and when he had had an opportunity of replying 
obligingly to the Mayor or members of the Commune 
he came and whispered in his mother's ear, " Was 
that right?" 


He requested M. Bailly to show him the shield of 
Scipio, which is in the Royal library; and M. Bailly 
asking him which he preferred, Scipio or Hannibal, 
the young Prince replied, without hesitation, that he 
preferred him who had defended his own country. 
He gave frequent proofs of ready wit. One day, 
while the Queen was hearing Madame repeat her 
exercises in ancient history, the young Princess could 
not at the moment recollect the name of the Queen 
of Carthage. The Dauphin was hurt at his sister's 
want of memory, and though he never spoke to her 
in the second person singular, he bethought himself of 
the expedient of saying to her, " But dis done the 
name of the Queen to mamma ; dis done what her 
name was." 1 

Shortly after the arrival of the King and his 
family at Paris, the Duchess de Luynes came, in 
pursuance of the advice of a committee of Constitu- 
tionals, to propose to the Queen a temporary retire- 
ment from France, in order to leave the Constitution 
to perfect itself, so that the patriots should not accuse 
her of influencing the King to oppose it. The Duchess 
knew how far the schemes of the factions extended, 
and her attachment to the Queen was the principal 
cause of the advice she gave her. The Queen per- 
fectly comprehended the Duchess de Luynes's motive, 
but replied that she would never leave either the 
King or her son; that if she thought herself alone 
obnoxious to public hatred, she would instantly offer 
her life as a sacrifice ; but that it was the throne 

1 The words dis done (tell thou then) in French have the same 
sound with Didon (Dido). — -Trans. 


which was aimed at, and that, in abandoning the 
King, she should be merely committing an act of 
cowardice, since she saw no other advantage in it 
than that of saving her own life. 

One evening in the month of November, 1790, I 
returned home rather late. I there found the Prince 
de Poix. He told me he came to request me to 
assist him in regaining his peace of mind ; that at 
the commencement of the sittings of the National 
Assembly, he had suffered himself to be seduced into 
the hope of a better order of things ; that he blushed 
for his error, and that he abhorred plans which had 
already produced such fatal results ; that he broke off 
with the reformers for the rest of his life ; that he 
had just given in his resignation as a deputy of the 
National Assembly ; and, finally, that he was anxious 
that the Queen should not sleep in ignorance of his 
sentiments. I undertook his commission, and acquitted 
myself of it in the best way I could ; but I was totally 
unsuccessful. The Prince de Poix remained at Court ; 
he there suffered many mortifications, never ceasing 
to serve the King in the most dangerous commissions 
with that zeal for which his house has always been 

When the King, the Queen and their children 
were suitably established at the Tuileries, as well as 
Madame Elizabeth and the Princess de Lamballe, the 
Queen resumed her usual habits. She employed her 
mornings in superintending the education of Madame, 
who received all her lessons in her presence, and she 
herself began to work large pieces of tapestry. Her 
mind was too much occupied with passing events and 


surrounding dangers to admit of her applying herself 
to reading ; the needle was the only employment 
which would divert her mind. 1 She received the 
Court twice a week before going to Mass, and on 
those days dined in public with the King. She spent 
the rest of the time with her family and children. 
She had no concert, and did not go to the play until 
1791, after the acceptation of the Constitution. 3 The 
Princess de Lamballe, however, had some evening 
parties in her apartments at the Tuileries, which were 
tolerably brilliant in consequence of the great number 
of persons who attended them. The Queen was 
present at a few of these assemblies, but being soon 
convinced that her present situation forbade her appear- 
ing in large circles, she remained at home, and 
conversed as she sat at work. 3 The sole topic of her 

1 There is still at Paris, at the house of Mademoiselle 
Dubuquois, tapestry worker, a carpet worked by the Queen and 
Madame Elizabeth for the large room of Her Majesty's ground- 
floor apartments at the Tuileries. The Empress Josephine saw 
and admired this carpet, and desired it might be preserved in hope 
of one day sending it to Madame. — Note by Madame Campan. 

2 A judgment may be formed of the situation in which the 
Queen found herself placed during the earlier part of her residence 
at Paris from the following letter written by her to the Duchess 
de Polignac : 

" I shed tears of affection on reading your letters. You talk of 
my courage, it required much less to go through that dreadful crisis 
which I had to suffer than is daily necessary to endure our situa- 
tion, our own griefs, those of our friends and those of the persons 
who surround us. This is a heavy weight to sustain, and but for 
the strong ties by which my heart is bound to my husband, my 
children and my friends, I should wish to sink under it. But you 
bear me up; I ought to sacrifice such feelings to your friendship. 
But it is I who bring misfortune on you all, and your troubles are 
on my account." (" History of Marie Antoinette," by Montjoie.) — 
Note by the Editor. 

3 The Queen returned one evening from one of these assemblies 
very much affected ; an English nobleman, who was playing at the 
same table with Her Majesty, ostentatiously displayed an enormous 
ring, in which was a lock of Oliver Cromwell's hair. — Note by 
Madame Campan. 


discourse was, as may well be supposed, the Revolution. 
She sought to discover the real opinions of the Parisians 
respecting her, and how she could have so completely 
lost the affections of the people, and even of many 
persons in the higher ranks. She well knew that she 
ought to impute the whole to the spirit of party, to 
the hatred of the Duke d'Orleans, and the folly of the 
French, who desired to have a total change in the 
Constitution ; but she was not the less desirous of 
ascertaining the private feelings of all the people in 
power. 1 

i The Count d'Escherny, in the extract we are about to give, 
shrewdly describes the blind fury of those who overthrew the ancient 
edifice of monarchy, and the folly of such as, at this time, attempt 
to reinstate it upon the old basis. 

"I picture France before the year 1789 to myself as a great 
theatre, where magnificent operas were represented. The places 
were badly distributed ; the pit paid all the expenses of the per- 
formance ; the people in that part of the house were left standing, 
squeezed together and uncomfortable, while the little band of the 
favourites of intrigue and fortune reclined luxuriously in gilded 
niches and elegant recesses. But the crowd below drank in pleasure 
at all their senses, while the others were yawning above them. The 
wearisomeness of the boxes balanced the inconveniences of the pit. 
The latter, except so far as vanity (which is but a poor set-off against 
ennui) was concerned, was not the worst off, so that all were nearly 

"Certain men came and undertook to undeceive the pit as to 
their enjoyments, and to persuade them that their pleasures, being 
mixed with vexations, were no pleasures at all. The stage revolved 
on a large pivot. They gave it a revolutionary movement, making 
it turn round on its own centre. They brought to sight what was 
before concealed by the scenes and curtains. They pushed back 
what was in front, and brought forward what was behind. They 
afterwards made holes in the scenes, undid the framework and 
pulleys, cut the cords, unhung the clouds, and presented to the 
astonished spectator all the oily, black and smoky ruins. ' Infatuated 
admirers ! ' cried they, ' behold the objects of your fascination ! 
These are your gods, your ancestors, your Kings, your heroes ! And 
now prostrate yourselves again ! ' 

" He who, to help the French legislators out of their difficulties, 
should at this day hold this language to them, ' Gentlemen, you see 
you are struggling in vain ! You are drowning ; anarchy is gaining 
upon you ; you have but one course to pursue, that is to reinstate 


From the very commencement of the Revolution 
General Luckner indulged in violent sallies against her. 
Her Majesty, knowing that I was acquainted with a 
lady who had been long connected with the General, 
desired me to discover through that channel what was 
the private motive on which Luckner's hatred against 
her was founded. On being questioned upon this point, 
he answered that Marshal de Segur had assured him he 
had proposed him for the command of a camp of ob- 
servation, but that the Queen had made a dash against 
his name, and that the task, as he called it in his 
German accent, he could not forget. The Queen 
ordered me to repeat this reply to the King myself, 
and said to him, " See, Sire, whether I was not 
right in telling you that your ministers, in order to 
give themselves full scope in the distribution of 
favours, persuaded the French that I interfered in 
everything. There was not even a license given out in 
the country for the sale of salt and tobacco but the 
people believed it was given to one of my favourites." 
" That is very true," replied the King ; " but I find it 
very difficult to believe that Marshal de Segur ever 
said any such thing to Luckner ; he knew too well that 
you never interfered in the distribution of favours. 
That Luckner is a good-for-nothing fellow, and Segur 
is a brave and honourable man, who never uttered such 

the theatre.' A person who could say so would certainly be little 
better than an idiot. To him I should reply, ' My friend, the 
mischief is done, the illusion is destroyed, and that for some time 
to come. It will be long ere the raging sea will be anything more 
than so many pieces of pasteboard, or the enchanted palaces other 
than daubs upon rough cloth lighted by mutton-fat.'" ("The 
Philosophy of Politics," vol. ii., pp. 202-204.) — Note by the 


a falsehood. However, you are right ; and because 
you provided for a few dependents, you are most un- 
justly reported to have disposed of all offices, civil 
and military. 

All the Nobility who had not left Paris made a 
point of presenting themselves assiduously to the King, 
and there was a considerable influx to the Palace of 
the Tuileries. Marks of attachment were exhibited 
even in external symbols ; the women wore enormous 
bouquets of lilies in their bosoms and upon their 
heads, and sometimes even bunches of white ribbon. 

At the play there were often disputes between the 
pit and the boxes about removing these ornaments, 
which the people thought dangerous emblems. National 
cockades were sold in every corner of Paris ; the sen- 
tinels stopped all who did not wear them. The young 
men piqued themselves upon breaking through this 
regulation, which was in some degree sanctioned by 
the acquiescence of the hapless Louis XVI. Frays 
took place, which were to be regretted, because they 
excited a spirit of rebellion. The King adopted con- 
ciliatory measures with the Assembly, in order to 
promote tranquillity ; the Revolutionists were but little 
disposed to think him sincere. Unfortunately the 
Royalists encouraged this incredulity by incessantly 
repeating that the King was not free, and that all he 
did was completely null and in no way bound him 
for the time to come. Such was the heat and violence 
of party spirit that persons the most sincerely attached 
to the King were not even permitted to use the lan- 
guage of reason, and recommend greater reserve in 
conversation. People would talk and argue at table 

VOL. II 6 


without considering that all the servants belonged to 
the hostile army; and it may truly be said that there 
was as much imprudence and levity in the party 
assailed as there was cunning, boldness and perse- 
verance in that which made the attack. 



Affair of Favras — His prosecution and death — His children are 
imprudently presented to the Queen — Plan laid for carrying off 
the- Royal Family — Singular letter from the Empress Catherine 
to Louis XVI. — The Queen is unwilling to owe the re-estab- 
lishment of the throne to the Emigres — Death of the Emperor 
Joseph II. — First negotiation between the Court and Mirabeau 
— Louis XVI. and his family inhabit St. Cloud — New plans for 

In February, 1790, the affair of the unfortunate 
Favras gave the Court much uneasiness. This indi- 
vidual had conceived the scheme of carrying off the 
King and effecting what was then called a counter- 
revolution. 1 Monsieur, probably out of mere bene- 
volence, gave him some money, and thence arose a 
report that he thereby wished to favour the execution 
of the enterprise. The step taken by Monsieur in 
going to the Hotel de Ville to explain himself upon 
this affair was unknown to the Queen ; it is more 
than probable that the King was acquainted with it. 
When judgment was pronounced upon M. de Favras, 
the Queen did not conceal from me her fears about 
the confessions of the unfortunate man in his last 

I sent a confidential person to the Hotel de Ville. 

1 Vide, in the Illustrations (G), the particulars given by Ber- 
trand de Molleville of this tragic episode of the Revolution. — Note 
by the Editor. 



She came to inform the Queen that the condemned 
had demanded to be taken from Notre Dame to the 
Hotel de Ville to make a final declaration and give 
some particulars verifying it. These particulars com- 
promised nobody. Favras corrected his last will after 
writing it over, and went to the scaffold with heroic 
courage and coolness. The judge who read his con- 
demnation to him told him that his life was a sacri- 
fice which he owed to public tranquillity. It was 
asserted at the time that Favras was given up as 
a victim in order to satisfy the people and save 
the Baron de Besenval, who was a prisoner in the 
Abbaye. 1 

1 The " Biographie Universelle " (vol. xiv., p. 221) gives the 
following particulars of the designs, prosecution and death of this 
unfortunate man : 

" Favras (Thomas Mahy, Marquis of), born at Blois in 1745, 
entered the service first in the corps of mousquetaires, and made the 
campaign of 1761 with them. He was afterwards captain and adju- 
tant in Belsunce's regiment, and subsequently lieutenant of the 
Swiss guard of Monsieur the King's brother, and resigned that 
commission in 1775 to go to Vienna, where his wife was acknow- 
ledged the only and legitimate daughter of the Prince d'Anhalt- 
Schauenbourg. He commanded a legion in Holland on the 
insurrection against the Stadtholder, in 1787. Possessing a warm 
imagination and a head fertile in expedients, Favras always had 
something to propose in all cases and upon every point. He 
presented a great number of plans on the subject of finance ; and at 
the breaking out of the Revolution he tendered some upon political 
measures, which rendered him an object of suspicion to the revo- 
lutionary party. It is well known that in the highly excited state 
of the minds of the people, if the leaders of factions pointed out a 
victim, it was impossible for him to escape from popular fury. 
Favras was accused in the month of December, 1789, of having 
conspired against the Revolution and planned the introduction of 
armed men into Paris during the night, in order to make away with 
the three principal members of the Administration, to attack the 
King's guard, to carry off the Great Seal, and even to remove the 
King and his family to Pironne. Having been arrested by order of 
the committee of enquiry of the National Assembly, he was trans- 
ferred to the Chatelet, where he defended himself with much cool- 
ness and presence of mind, repelling the accusations brought against 


On the morning of the Sunday following this exe- 
cution, M. de la Villeurnoy 1 came to my house to 
tell me that he was going on that very day to the 
public dinner of the King and Queen to present the 
widow Favras and her son, both of them in mourn- 
ing for the brave Frenchman who fell a sacrifice for 
his King, and that all the Royalists expected to see 
the Queen load the unfortunate family with favours. 
I did all that lay in my power to prevent this pro- 
ceeding. I foresaw the effect it would have upon the 
Queen's feeling heart, and the painful constraint she 

him by Morel, Turcati and Marquie with considerable force. These 
witnesses declared he had imparted his plan to them. It was to 
be carried into execution by 12,000 Swiss and 12,000 Germans, who 
were to be assembled at Montargis, thence to march upon Paris, 
carry off the King and assassinate Bailly, La Fayette and Necker. 
The greater number of these charges he denied, and declared that 
the rest related only to the levy of a troop intended to favour the 
revolution preparing in Brabant. The judge having refused to 
disclose who had denounced him, he complained to the Assembly, 
which passed to the order of the day. His death was obviously 
inevitable. During the whole time of the proceedings the populace 
never ceased threatening the judges and shouting ' A la lanterne ! ' 
It was even necessary to keep numerous troops and artillery, con- 
stantly ready to act, in the courtyard of the Chatelet. The judges, 
who had just acquitted M. de Besenval in an affair nearly similar, 
doubtless dreaded the effects of this fury. When they refused to 
hear Favras's witnesses in exculpation, he compared them to the 
tribunal of the Inquisition. The principal charge against him was 
founded on a letter from one M. de Foucault asking him, ' Where 
are your troops ? In which direction will they enter Paris ? I should 
like to be employed among them.' Favras was condemned to make 
the amende honorable in front of the cathedral and to be hanged at the 
Place de Greve. He heard this sentence with wonderful calmness, 
and said to the judges, ' I pity you much if the testimony of two 
men is sufficient to induce you to condemn.' The judge having 
said to him, ' I have no other consolation to hold out to you than 
that which religion affords, ' he replied nobly, ' My greatest conso- 
lation is that which I derive from my innocence.' " — Note by the 

1 M. de la Villeurnoy, Master of the Requests, was deported to 
Sinamary on the 18th Fructidor, by the Executive Directory, and 
there died. — Note by Madame Campan. 


would experience, having the horrible Santerre, the 
commandant of a battalion of the Parisian guard, be- 
hind her chair during dinner-time. I could not make 
M. de la Villeurnoy comprehend my argument. The 
Queen had gone to Mass, surrounded by her whole 
Court, and I had not even the means of apprising 
her of this intention. 

When dinner was over I heard a knocking at the 
door of my apartment, which opened into the cor- 
ridor next that of the Queen ; it was herself. She 
asked me whether there was anybody with me. I 
was alone. She threw herself into an arm-chair, and 
told me she came to weep with me, entirely at her 
ease, over the foolish conduct of the ultras of the 
King's party. " We must fall," said she, " attacked 
as we are by men who possess extraordinary talent 
and shrink from no crime, while we are defended 
only by those who are no doubt very estimable, but 
have no adequate idea of our situation. They have 
exposed me to the animosity of both parties by pre- 
senting the widow and son of Favras to me. Were 
I free to act as I wish, I should take the child of 
the man who has just sacrificed himself for us and 
place him at table between the King and myself ; 
'but, surrounded by the assassins who have destroyed 
his father, I did not dare even to cast my eyes upon 
him. The Royalists will blame me for not having 
appeared interested in this poor child ; the Revolu- 
tionists will be enraged at the idea that his presenta- 
tion should have been thought agreeable to me." 
However, the Queen added that she knew Madame 
Favras's situation ; that she was aware she was in 


want ; and that she desired me to send her the next 
day, through a person who could be relied on, a few 
rouleaus of fifty louis, and to direct that she should 
be assured Her Majesty would always watch over 
her fortune and that of her son. 

The Queen wished to send some man devoted to 
the King's cause with letters to the Princes then at 
Turin." She cast her eyes upon an officer, a chevalier 
of St. Louis, intimately connected with M. Campan's 
family, and of whom she had frequently heard me 
speak in terms of commendation. I did not hesitate 
a moment between the pleasure of seeing one of my 
friends entrusted with a commission which would do 
him honour and the danger of entrusting that charge 
to a man whom I had the misfortune to see carried 
away by the fatal opinions of the times. 1 This I 
told the Queen, and entreated her to make another 
selection. Her Majesty was gratified by my sin- 
cerity. The commission was given to M. de J , 

who from that time invariably evinced the greatest 
discretion, the most undoubted sagacity and a zeal 
that never for a moment slackened. 

In the month of March following I had an oppor- 
tunity of ascertaining the King's real sentiments re- 
specting the schemes which were continually proposed 

1 In 1791 this man was chosen a member of the Legislative 
Assembly. So long as I had only his opinions to combat I did 
not cease to receive him. When, however, I had his actions to 
dread, I requested him, from the very day of his installation in the 
Assembly, to visit me no more. He became afterwards a con- 
ventional . But I was indebted to my principles and prudence 

for the satisfaction of having long ceased all communication with a 
man who ranked himself among the enemies of my Sovereigns, and 
subsequently was one of their murderers. — Note by Madame 


to him for making his escape. One night, about ten 
o'clock, the Count d'Inisdal, who was deputed by the 
Nobility, came to request I would hear him in private, 
as he had an important matter to communicate to me. 
He told me that on that very night the King would 
be carried off; that the section of the National Guard 
which was that day commanded by M. d'Aumont • 
was gained over, and that sets of horses, furnished by 
some good Royalists, were placed in relays at suitable 
distances; that he had just left a party of Nobles 
assembled for the execution of this scheme, and that 
he had been sent to me that I might, through the 
medium of the Queen, obtain the King's positive con- 
sent to it before midnight ; that the King was aware 
of their plan, but that His Majesty never would 
speak decidedly, and that at the moment of action 
it was necessary he should consent to the under- 
taking. I remember that I greatly displeased the 
Count d'Inisdal by expressing my astonishment that 
the Nobility, at the moment of the execution of so 
important a project, should send to me, the Queen's 
first woman, to obtain a consent which ought to have 
been the basis of any well-concerted scheme. I told 
him also that it would be impossible for me to 
go at that time down into the Queen's apartments 
without exciting the attention of the people in the 
ante-chambers ; that the King was at cards with the 
Queen and his family, and that I never broke in 

i A brother of the Duke de Villequier, who had joined the 
revolutionary party ; a man of no weight or respectability, who 
desired he might be called James Aumont. A far different man from 
his brave brother, who always proved himself entirely devoted to the 
cause of his King. — Note by Madame Campan. 


upon their privacy unless I was called for. I added, 
however, that M. Campan could enter without being 
called, and that if he chose to give him his con- 
fidence he might rely upon him. My father-in-law, 
to whom the Count d'Inisdal repeated what he had 
said to me, undertook the commission, and went to 
the Queen's apartments. The King was playing 
at whist with the Queen, Monsieur and Madame ; 
Madame Elizabeth was kneeling upon a stool near 
the table. M. Campan informed the Queen of what 
had been communicated to me. Nobody uttered 
a word. The Queen broke silence, and said to the 
King, " Do you hear, Sire, what Campan says to 
us ? " " Yes, I hear," said the King, and continued 
his game. Monsieur, who was in the habit of in- 
troducing passages from plays into his conversation, 
said to my father-in-law, " M. Campan, that pretty 
little couplet again, if you please " ; and pressed the 
King to reply. At length the Queen said, " But 
something must be said to Campan." The King 
then spoke to my father-in-law in these words: 
" Tell M. d'Inisdal that I cannot consent to be 
carried off ! " The Queen enjoined M. Campan to 
take care and report this answer faithfully. " You 
understand," added she, " the King cannot consent 
to be carried off." The Count d'Inisdal was very 
much dissatisfied with the King's answer, and went 
out, saying, "I understand; he wishes to throw all 
the blame beforehand upon those who are to de- 
vote themselves for him." He went away, and I 
thought the enterprise would be abandoned. How- 
ever, the Queen remained alone with me till mid- 


night, preparing her cases of valuables, and ordered 
me not to go to bed. She imagined the King's 
answer would be understood as a tacit consent, and 
merely a refusal to participate in the design. I do 
not know what passed in the King's apartments 
during the night, but I occasionally looked at his 
windows. I saw the garden clear ; I heard no noise 
in the palace, and day at length confirmed my 
opinion that the project had been given up. " We 
must, however, fly," said the Queen to me shortly 
afterwards. " Who knows how far the factious may 
go ? The danger increases every day." ' This 
Princess received advice and memorials from all 
quarters. Rivarol addressed several to her, which I 
read to her. They were full of ingenious observa- 
tions, but the Queen did not find that they con- 
tained anything of essential service under the 
circumstances in which the Royal Family were 

i If the following anecdote be not true, it is, after what 
we have just read, at least very probable. 

"The disturbances of the 13th of April, 1790, occasioned 
by the warmth of the discussions upon Don Gerle's impru- 
dent motion in the National Assembly, having afforded room 
for apprehension that the enemies of the country would en- 
deavour to carry off the King from the capital, M. de la 
Fayette promised to keep a good look out, and told Louis XVI. 
that if he saw any alarming movements among the disaffected, 
he would give him notice of it by the discharge of a cannon 
from Henry IV. 's battery upon the Pont Neuf. On the same 
night a few casual discharges of musketry were heard from 
the terrace of the Tuileries. The King, deceived by the noise, 
flew to the Queen's apartments. He did not find her in her 
room; he ran to the Dauphin's room, where he found the Queen 
holding her son in her arms. ' Madam,' said the King to 
her, ' I have been seeking you ; I was uneasy about you.' The 
Queen showing her son, said to him, ' I was at my station.' 
This answer was perfectly worthy of the Queen's maternal 
feelings." ("Anecdotes of the Reign of Louis XVI.") — Note 
by the Editor. 


placed. The Count de Moustier also sent memorials 
and plans of conduct. I remember that in one of 
his writings he said to the King, "Read Telemachts 
again, Sire. In that book, which delighted Your 
Majesty in infancy, you will find the first seeds of 
those principles which, erroneously followed up by 
men of ardent imaginations, are bringing on the 
explosion we expect every moment." I read so 
many of these memorials that I could hardly give 
a faithful account of them, and I am determined to 
note in this work no other events than such as I 
witnessed — no other words than such as (notwith- 
standing the lapse of time) still, in some measure, 
vibrate in my ears. 

The Count de Segur, on his return from Russia, 
was employed some time by the Queen, and had a 
certain degree of influence over her ; but that did 
not last long. Count Augustus de la Marck likewise 
endeavoured to negotiate for the King's advantage 
with the leaders of the factious. M. de Fontanges, 
Archbishop of Toulouse, possessed also the Queen's 
confidence ; but none of the endeavours which were 
made at home produced any beneficial result. The 
Empress Catherine II. also conveyed her opinion 
upon the situation of Louis XVI. to the Queen, 
and Her Majesty made me read a few lines in the 
Empress's own handwriting, which concluded with 
these words : " Kings ought to proceed in their career 
undisturbed by the cries of the people, as the moon 
pursues her course unimpeded by the howling of 
dogs." I shall certainly not enter into any discussion 
on this maxim of the despotic Sovereign of Russia ; 


but it was very inapplicable to the situation of a 
captive King. 

All this private advice, whether given from abroad 
or at home, led to no decision of which the Court 
could avail itself. Meanwhile the revolutionary party 
followed up its audacious enterprise in a determined 
manner, without meeting any opposition. The advice 
from without, as well from Coblentz as from Vienna, 
made various impressions upon the members of the 
Royal Family, and those Cabinets were not in ac- 
cordance with each other. I often had reason to 
infer from what the Queen said to me that she 
thought the King, by leaving all the honour of 
restoring order to the Coblentz party, would, on the 
return of the emigrants, be put under a kind of 
guardianship which would increase his own misfor- 
tunes. She frequently said to me, " If the emigrants 
succeed, they will give the law for a long time ; it 
will be impossible to refuse them anything. To owe 
the crown to them would be contracting too great 
an obligation." It always appeared to me that she 
wished her own family to counterbalance the claims 
of the emigrants by disinterested services. She was 
fearful of M. de Calonne, and with good reason. She 
had proof that this minister was now her bitterest 
enemy, and that he made use of the basest and most 
criminal means in order to blacken her reputation. 
I can testify that I have seen in the hands of the 
Queen a manuscript copy of the infamous Memoirs of 
the woman De Lamotte, which had been brought to 
her from London, and in which all those passages 
where a total ignorance of the customs of Courts had 


occasioned that wretched woman to make blunders 
which would have been too palpable were corrected 
in M. de Calonne's own handwriting. 

The King's two guards who were wounded at 
Her Majesty's door on the 6th of October were 
M. du Repaire and M. de Miomandre de Sainte- 
Marie. On the dreadful night of the 6th of October 
the latter took the post of the former the moment 
he became incapable of maintaining it. 

M. de Miomandre was at Paris, living on terms 
of friendship with another of the guards who, on the 
same day, received a gunshot wound from the bri- 
gands in another part of the castle. These two officers, 
who were attended and cured together at the infirmary 
of Versailles, 1 were almost constant companions ; they 
were recognised at the Palais Royal and insulted. 
The Queen thought it advisable for them to quit Paris. 
She desired me to write to M. de Miomandre de Sainte- 
Marie to ask him to come to me at eight o'clock in the 
evening, and then to communicate to him her wish to 
hear of his being in safety ; and ordered me, when he had 
made up his mind to go, to open her chest and tell him 

i A considerable number of the body-guards who were 
wounded on the 6th of October betook themselves to the in- 
firmary at Versailles. The presence of mind of M. Voisin, head 
surgeon of that infirmary, saved their lives. The brigands 
wanted to make their way into the infirmary in order to mas- 
sacre them. M. Voisin ran to the entrance-hall, invited the 
assailants to refresh themselves, ordered some wine to be brought, 
and found means to direct the superior to remove the guards 
into a ward appropriated to the poor and to dress them in the 
caps and great-coats furnished by the institution. The good 
sisters executed this order with so much promptitude that the 
guards were removed, dressed as paupers, and their beds fresh 
made while the assassins were loitering to drink. They searched 
all the wards, and fancied they saw no persons there but the sick 
poor ; thus the guards were saved. — Note by Madame Campan. 


in her name that gold could not repay such a service 
as he had rendered ; that she hoped some day to be 
in sufficiently happy circumstances to recompense him 
as she ought ; but that for the present her offer of 
money was only that of a sister to a brother situ- 
ated as he then was, and that she requested he 
would take whatever might be necessary to discharge 
his debts at Paris and defray the expenses of his 
journey. She told me also to desire he would bring 
his friend Bertrand with him, and to make him the- 
same offer as I was to make to M. de Miomandre. 

The two guards came at the appointed hour, and 
each accepted, I think, one or two hundred louis. A 
moment afterwards the Queen opened my door. She 
was accompanied by the King and Madame Elizabeth. 
The King stood with his back against the fireplace ; 
the Queen sat down upon a sofa, and Madame 
Elizabeth sat near her. I placed myself behind the 
Queen, and the two guards stood facing the King. 
The Queen told them that the King wished to see, 
before they went away, two of the brave men who 
had afforded him the strongest proofs of courage and 
attachment. Miomandre spoke, and said all that the 
Queen's affecting and flattering observations were 
calculated to inspire. Madame Elizabeth spoke of 
the King's sensibility ; the Queen resumed the sub- 
ject of their speedy departure, urging the necessity of 
it ; the King was silent, but his emotion was evident, 
and his eyes were suffused with the tears of sensi- 
bility. The Queen rose, the King went out, and 
Madame Elizabeth followed him. The Queen stopped 
and said to me, in the recess of a window, " I am 


sorry I brought the King here ! I am sure Eliza- 
beth thinks with me. If the King had but given 
utterance to a fourth part of what he thinks of those 
brave men they would have been in ecstasies ; but he 
cannot overcome his diffidence." 

The Emperor Joseph died about this time. The 
Queen's grief was not excessive. That brother, of 
whom she had been so proud, and whom she had 
loved so tenderly, had probably suffered greatly in 
her affections. She reproached him sometimes, 
though with great moderation, for having adopted 
several of the principles of the new philosophy, and 
perhaps she knew that he looked upon our troubles 
with the eye of the Sovereign of Germany rather 
than that of the brother of the Queen of France. 1 

Mirabeau never entirely gave up the hope of 
becoming the last resource of the oppressed Court, 
and I remember that at this time some communi- 
cations passed between the Queen and him. The 
question was about an office to be conferred upon 
him. This transpired, and it must have been about 
this period that the Assembly decreed that no 
deputy could hold an office as a minister of the King 
until the expiration of two years after the cessation 
of his legislative functions. I know that the Queen 
was much hurt at this decision, and considered that 
the Court had lost a promising opening. 

1 The Emperor Joseph sent the Queen an engraving which 
represented unfrocked nuns and monks. The first were trying 
on fashionable dresses ; the latter were getting their hair dressed. 
This engraving was always left in a closet, and never hung up. 
The Queen told me to have it taken away ; for she was hurt to 
see how much influence the philosophers had over her brother's 
mind and actions. — Note by Madame Campan. 


The Palace of the Tuileries was a very disagree- 
able residence during the summer, which made the 
Queen wish to go to St. Cloud. The removal was 
decided on without any opposition. The National 
Guard of Paris followed the Court thither. At this 
period new plans of escape were presented ; nothing 
would have been more easy at that time than 
to execute them. The King had obtained leave 
to go out without guards, and to be accompanied 
only by an aide-de-camp of M. de la Fayette. The 
Queen also had one on duty with her, and so had 
the Dauphin. The King and Queen often went out 
at four in the afternoon, and did not return until 
eight or nine. 

This is one of the plans of emigration which the 
Queen communicated to me, the execution of which 
seemed infallible. The Royal Family were to meet 
in a wood four leagues from St. Cloud. Some persons 
who could be fully relied on were to accompany the 
King, who was always followed by his equerries and 
pages. The Queen was to join him with her 
daughter and Madame Elizabeth. These Princesses, 
as well as the Queen, had equerries and pages, of whose 
fidelity no doubt could be entertained. The Dauphin, 
likewise, was to have been at the place of rendezvous 
with Madame Tourzel : a large berlin and a chaise 
for the attendants were sufficient for the whole family. 
The aides-de-camp were to have been gained over or 
mastered. The King was to leave a letter for the 
National Assembly upon his bureau at St. Cloud. 
The people in the service of the King and Queen 
would have waited until nine in the evening without 


anxiety, because the family sometimes did not return 
until that hour. The letter could not be forwarded 
to Paris until ten o'clock at the earliest. The 
Assembly would not be sitting at that hour ; and 
as the President must have been sought for at his 
own house or elsewhere, it would have been midnight 
before the Assembly could have been summoned, 
and couriers could have been sent off to have the 
Royal Family stopped ; but the latter would have 
been six or seven hours beforehand, as they would 
have started at six leagues' distance from Paris, and 
at this period travelling was not as yet impeded in 
France. The Queen approved of this plan, but I 
did not venture to interrogate her, and I even thought 
if it was put in execution she would leave me in 
ignorance of it. One evening, in the month of June, 
the people at the Castle, finding the King did not 
return by nine o'clock, were walking about the court- 
yards in a state of great anxiety. I thought the 
family was gone, and I could scarcely breathe amidst 
the confusion of my good wishes when I heard the 
sound of the carriages. I confessed to the Queen 
that I thought she had set off. She told me she 
must wait until the Queen's aunt had quitted France, 
and afterwards see whether the plan agreed with those 
formed abroad. 1 

i On his return from one of the visits to St. Cloud, the King 
wrote to the Duchess de Polignac : 

" I am returned from the country. The air has been of service 
to us ; but how changed did the retreat appear to us ! How deso- 
late was the breakfast-room ! Neither of you were there. I did 
not give up the hope of our meeting there again ; but I know 
not when. How many things we shall have to say to one another ! 
Your friend preserves her health, in spite of all the misfortunes 
VOL. II 7 



First federation — Attempts to assassinate the Queen — Remarkable 
observations of that Princess — Affecting scene — Account of the 
affair of Nancy, written by Madame Campan at night in the 
Council Chamber, by the King's dictation — Madame Campan 
calumniated — Marks of confidence bestowed upon her by the 
Queen — Interview between that Princess and Mirabeau in the 
gardens of St. Cloud — He treats with the Court — Scoffs at the 
revolutionary party — Plan formed by the Princess for re-enter- 
ing France through Lyons — Imprudence of persons attached to 
the Queen — Anecdote relative to M. de la Fayette — Departure 
of the King's aunts — Death of Mirabeau. 

There was a meeting at Paris for the first federa- 
tion on the 14th of July, the anniversary of the taking 
of the Bastille. What an astonishing assemblage was 
this of 400,000 men, amongst whom there were not 
perhaps 200 who did not believe that the King found 

which press upon her. Adieu, Duchess ! Speak of me to your 
husband and all around you ; and understand that I shall not be 
happy until the day I find myself with my old friends again." 

" The further the first National Assembly advanced in its 
labours," adds Montjoie, by whom this letter is given, " the 
more unhappy the Queen found herself." We have a proof of this 
in these words from another note from Louis XVI. to the Duchess 
de Polignac : 

" For the last eighteen months we have seen and heard nothing 
but disagreeable things. We do not lose our temper, but we are 
hurt and rendered melancholy at being thwarted in everything, 
particularly at being misrepresented." 

In a former letter from the King to the Duchess, the following 
passage occurs : 

" Your friend is unhappy and exceedingly misrepresented ; but 
I flatter myself that justice will one day be done to her. Still, the 
wicked are very active ; they are more readily believed than the 
good ; you are a striking proof of it." (" History of Marie Antoi- 
nette," by Montjoie, page 262.) — Note by the Editor. 


happiness and glory in the order of things then being 
established. The love which was borne him by all, with 
the exception of those who meditated his ruin, still 
reigned in full force in the hearts of all the French 
of the departments ; but, if I may judge from those 
whom I had an opportunity of seeing, it was totally 
impossible to enlighten them and rouse them from 
their .enchantment. They were as much attached to 
the King as to the Constitution, and to the Constitution 
as to the King, and it was impossible to separate the 
one from the other in their hearts and minds. 1 

i To the particulars respecting the federation, contained in 
the Memoirs by Ferrieres, we add the following. On one hand 
they describe the enthusiasm excited by that festival even among 
the English, and on the other characterise the far too licentious 
freedom of their stage : 

" Two deputies from Nantes, who were sent to England to 
cement the fraternal union between the London Revolutionary 
Club and all the friends of the French Constitution, wrote the 
following letter : 

" 'From all that we have seen and known we can assure you 
that the people of London are at least as enthusiastic on the sub- 
ject of the French Revolution as the people of France. We went 
yesterday to see the opera of The Confederation of the French at the 
Champs de Mars. This piece has been played daily for six weeks. 
The house is filled by five o'clock, though the performance does 
not begin till seven. When we got there there was no room, but 
as soon as they heard us speak French, without knowing us, they 
hastened to place us in the front of the boxes ; they paid us every 
possible attention, and forced refreshments upon us. 

" ' The first act of this opera represents the arrival of several 
people at Paris to the federation. 

" ' The second, the works of the Champ de Mars. 

" ' The third, the Confederation itself. 

" ' In the second act capuchins are seen in grenadier caps, 
girls caressing abbes, the King comes in and chops with a hatchet ; 
everybody at work and singing " Ca ira, ca ira." 

"'In the third act you see the municipal officers in scarfs, 
the National Assembly, the National Guard, officiating ministers 
in pontifical dresses and priests singing. A regiment of children 
sing, " Moi je suis soldat pour la patrie " in French and 
English. All this appears to us something new upon the banks 
of the Thames, and every verse is encored and enthusiastically 
applauded.'" — "Anecdotes of the Reign of Louis XVI.," vol. 
iv. — Note by the Editor. 


The Court returned to St. Cloud after the federation. 
A wretch named Rotondo made his way into the palace 
with the intention of assassinating the Queen. It is 
known that he penetrated to the inner gardens : the 
rain prevented Her Majesty from going out on that 
day. M. de la Fayette, who was aware of this plot, 
gave all the sentinels the strictest countersigns, and 
a description of the monster was distributed through- 
out the palace by order of the General. I do not know 
how he was saved from punishment. A counter police 
belonging to the King discovered that there was like- 
wise a scheme on foot for poisoning the Queen. She 
spoke to me as well as to her head physician, M. 
Vicq-d'Azyr, about it without the slightest emotion. 
Both he and myself considered what precautions it 
would be proper to take. He relied much upon the 
Queen's temperance, yet he recommended me to have 
always a bottle of oil of sweet almonds within reach, 
and to renew it occasionally ; oil and milk being, as 
is known, the most certain antidotes to the drastic 
action of corrosive poisons. The Queen had a habit 
which rendered M. Vicq-d'Azyr particularly uneasy : 
there was always some pounded sugar upon the table 
in Her Majesty's bed-chamber, and she frequently, 
without even calling anybody, put spoonfuls of it into 
a glass of water when she wished to drink. It was 
agreed that I should get a considerable quantity of 
sugar powdered ; that I should always have some 
papers of it in my bag, and that three or four times 
a day, when alone in the Queen's room, I should sub- 
stitute it for that in her sugar-basin. We knew that 
the Queen would have prevented all such precautions, 


but we were not aware of her motive. One day she 
caught me alone making such an exchange as I speak 
of, and told me she supposed it was an operation agreed 
on between myself and M. Vicq-d'Azyr, but that I gave 
myself very unnecessary trouble. " Remember," added 
she, " that not a grain of poison will be used against 
me. The Brinvilliers do not belong to this century. 
This age possesses calumny, which is a much more 
convenient instrument of death, and it is by that I shall 

While similar melancholy presentiments and the 
most criminal projects afflicted and rent the heart of 
this unfortunate Princess, the sincerest manifestations 
of attachment to her person and to the King's cause 
would frequently raise agreeable illusions in her mind, 
or present to her the affecting spectacle of tears shed 
for her sorrows. I was one day, during this same 
visit at St. Cloud, witness of a very touching scene, 
which we took great care to keep secret. It was four 
in the afternoon ; the guard was not set ; there was 
scarcely anybody at St. Cloud that day, and I was 
reading to the Queen, who was at work in a room 
the balcony of which hung over the courtyard. The 
windows were closed, yet we heard a sort of murmur 
from a great number of voices which seemed to 
articulate only stifled sounds. The Queen desired me 
to go and see what it was. I raised the muslin cur- 
tain, and perceived more than fifty persons beneath 
tbe balcony ; this group consisted of women, young 
and old, perfectly well dressed in the country costume, 
old chevaliers of Saint Louis, young knights of Malta, 
and a few ecclesiastics. I told the Queen it was 


probably an assemblage of persons residing in the 
neighbourhood who wished to see her. She rose, 
opened the window, and appeared in the balcony. 
Immediately all these worthy people said to her, in 
an undertone, " Courage, Madame ; good Frenchmen 
suffer for you and with you ; they pray for you ; 
Heaven will hear their prayers — we love you, we 
respect you, we will continue to venerate our virtuous 
King." The Queen burst into tears, and held her 
handkerchief to her eyes. "Poor Queen, she weeps!" 
said the women and young girls ; but the dread of 
exposing Her Majesty, and even the persons who 
showed so much affection for her, prompted me to 
take her hand and prevail upon her to retire into 
her room ; and, raising my eyes, I gave the excellent 
people to understand that my conduct was dictated 
by prudence. They comprehended me, for I heard, 
"That lady is in the right"; and afterwards, "Fare- 
well, madam ! " from several of them ; and all this 
in accents of feeling so genuine and so mournful that 
I am affected at the recollection of them even after 
a lapse of twenty years. 

A few days afterwards the insurrection of Nancy 
took place. Only the apparent cause of this insur- 
rection is known ; there was another, of which I 
might have been in full possession if the great con- 
fusion I was in upon the subject had not deprived 
me of the power of paying attention to it. I will 
endeavour to explain myself. In the early part of 
September the Queen, as she was going to bed, 
desired me to let all her people go and to remain 
with her myself. When we were alone she said to 


me, " The King will come here at midnight. You 
know that he has always shown you marks of dis- 
tinction ; he now proves his confidence in you by 
selecting you to write down the whole affair of Nancy 
from his dictation. He must have several copies of 
it." At midnight the King came to the Queen's 
apartments, and said to me, smiling, " You did not 
expect to become my secretary, and that, too, during 
the night." I followed the King into the council- 
chamber. I found there a blank paper book, an 
inkstand and pens all ready prepared. He sat down 
by my side and dictated to me the report of the 
Marquis de Bouille, which he himself copied at the 
same time. My hand trembled, and I wrote with 
difficulty, my reflections scarcely leaving me sufficient 
power of attention to listen to the King. The large 
table, the velvet carpet, seats which ought to have been 
filled by none but the King's chief counsellors ; what 
that chamber had been, and what it was at that 
moment, when the King was employing a woman in 
an office which had so little affinity with her ordinary 
functions; the misfortunes which had brought him to 
the necessity of doing so, those which my affection 
and my apprehension for my Sovereigns made me 
still dread — all these ideas made such an impression 
upon me that, when I had returned to the Queen's 
apartments, I could not sleep for the remainder of the 
night, nor could I remember what I had written. 

The more I saw that I had the happiness to be of 
some service to my employers, the more scrupulously 
careful was I to live entirely with my family, and 
I never indulged in any conversation which could 


betray the intimacy into which I was admitted. But 
nothing at Court remains long concealed, and I soon 
saw I had numerous enemies. The means of injuring 
others, especially in the minds of Sovereigns, are but 
too easy ; they were become still more so, since mere 
suspicion of communication with the partisans of the 
Revolution was sufficient to forfeit the esteem and 
confidence of the King and Queen. Happily my con- 
duct protected me against the dangers of calumny. 
I had left St. Cloud two days when I received at 
Paris a note from the Queen containing these words : 
" Come to St. Cloud immediately ; I have something 
concerning you to communicate." I set off without 
loss of time. Her Majesty told me she had a sacri- 
fice to request of me. I answered that it was made. 
She said it went so far as the renunciation of a 
friend's society ; that such a renunciation was always 
painful, but that it must be particularly so to me; 
that, for her own part, perhaps it might have suited 
her very well that a deputy, a man of talent, should 
be constantly received at my house, which might be 
extremely useful to her, but that, at this moment, 
she thought only of my welfare. The Queen then in- 
formed me that the ladies of the bed-chamber had, 
the preceding evening, assured her that M. de Beau- 
metz, deputy from the Nobility of Artois, who had 
taken his seat on the left of the Assembly, spent his 
whole time at my house. Perceiving upon what false 
grounds the attempt to injure me was founded, I re- 
plied respectfully, but at the same time smiling, that 
it was impossible for me to make the sacrifice exacted 
by Her Majesty ; that M. de Beaumetz, a man of 


great judgment, had not determined to cross over to 
the left of the Assembly, with the intention of after- 
wards coming to make himself unpopular by spending 
his time with the Queen's first woman ; that ever since 
the 1st of October, 1789, I had seen him nowhere 
but at the play or in the public walks, and even 
then without his ever coming to speak to me ; and 
that this line of conduct had appeared to me perfectly 
consistent, for that, whether he was desirous to please 
the popular party or to be sought after by the Court, 
he could not act in any other way towards me. The 
Queen closed this explanation by saying, " Oh ! it is 
clear, as clear as the day ! This opportunity of at- 
tempting to do you an injury is very ill-chosen, but 
be cautious in your slightest actions. You perceive 
that the confidence placed in you by the King and 
myself creates you powerful enemies." 

The private communications which were still kept 
up between the Court and Mirabeau at length pro- 
cured him an interview with the Queen in the gardens 
of St. Cloud. 1 He left Paris on horseback on pretence 
of going into the country to M. de Clavieres, one of 
our friends, but he stopped at one of the gates of 
the garden of St. Cloud, and was led, I know not by 
whom, to a spot situated in the most elevated part of 
the private garden, where the Queen was waiting for 
him. She told me she accosted him by saying, 
" With a common enemy, with a man who had sworn 

1 It was not in her apartments, as is asserted by M. de 
Lacretelle, that the Queen received Mirabeau, his person was too 
generally known. She went alone in her garden to a round tuft of 
ground, which is still upon the heights of the private garden of St. 
Cloud. — Note by Madame Campan. 


to destroy monarchy, without appreciating its utility 
among a great people, I should at this moment be 
guilty of a most ill-advised step, but in speaking to 
a Mirabeau," &c. The poor Queen was delighted at 
having discovered this method of exalting him above 
all others of his principles, and in imparting the par- 
ticulars of this interview to me, she said, " Do you 
know that those words, ' a Mirabeau,' appeared to 
natter him exceedingly." However, to the best of 
my judgment, it was flattering him but little, for his 
abilities did more harm than ever they could do good. 
On leaving the Queen, he said to her with warmth, 
" Madam, the monarchy is saved ! " 1 It must have 
been soon afterwards that Mirabeau received very 
considerable sums of money. He suffered it to appear 
too plainly by the increase of his expenditure. Already 
some of his remarks upon the necessity of arresting 
the progress of the factions circulated in society. Being 
once invited to meet a person at dinner who was very 
much attached to the Queen, he learned that that 
person withdrew on hearing that he was one of the 
guests. The party who invited him told him this with 
some degree of satisfaction, but all were very much 
astonished when they heard Mirabeau eulogise the 
absent guest, and declare that in his place he would 
have done the same ; but, he added, they had only 
to invite that person again in a few months and he 
would then dine with the restorer of the monarchy. 
Mirabeau forgot that it was more easy to do harm 

i Vide the anecdote given in Weber's Memoirs, vol. ii., upon 
the subject of this interview. — Note by the Editor. 


than good, and thought himself the Atlas of the whole 
world in politics. 

Outrages and mockery were incessantly mingled 
with the audacious proceedings of the Revolutionists. 
It was customary to give serenades under the King's 
windows on New Year's Day, and the band of the National 
Guards repaired thither on that festival in 179 1. In 
allusion to the liquidation of the debts of the State, 
decreed by the Assembly, they played solely and re- 
peatedly that air from the comic opera of the Debts, 
the burden of which is : " But our creditors are paid, 
and that makes us easy." 

On the same day some " conquerors of the Bastille," 
grenadiers of the Parisian guard, preceded by military 
music, came to present to the young Dauphin, as a 
New Year's gift, a box of dominoes made of some of 
the stone and marble of which that State prison was 
built. The Queen gave me this inauspicious curiosity, 
desiring me to preserve it, as it would be a curious 
illustration of the history of the Revolution. Upon 
the lid were engraved some bad verses, the purport 
of which was as follows : " These stones from the walls 
which enclosed the innocent victims of arbitrary power have 
been converted into a toy to be presented to you, Monseigneur, 
as a homage of the people's love, and to teach yon the extent 
of their power. ," 

The Queen said that M. de la Fayette's thirst for 
popularity doomed him to lend himself, without dis- 
crimination, to all popular follies. Her aversion for 
the General increased daily and grew so powerful 
that when, towards the end of the Revolution, he 
seemed willing to support the tottering throne, she 


could never bring herself to incur so great an obliga- 
tion to him. 

Emigration had already removed a great many 
people : persons who before this period would never 
have dared to aspire to any office of distinction, now 
sought, under pretence of zeal for the King's cause, 
to get into the interior of the Tuileries. I knew 
many of them ; some were mere wretched adventurers, 
others were well-intentioned but wanted the abilities 
which would have rendered them useful. 

M. de J , a colonel attached to the staff of the 

army, was fortunate enough to render several services 
to the Queen, and acquitted himself with discretion 
and dignity of various important missions. 1 Their 
Majesties had the highest confidence in him, although 
it frequently happened that his prudent fears, when 
inconsiderate projects were under discussion, brought 
upon him, from thoughtless persons and from enemies, 
the charge of following the principles of the Constitu- 
tionals. Being sent to Turin, he had some difficulty 
in dissuading the Princes from a scheme they had 
formed at that period of re-entering France, with a 
very weak army, by the way of Lyons ; and when, 
in a council, which lasted till three o'clock in the 
morning, he showed his instructions and demonstrated 
that the measure would endanger the King, the Count 
d'Artois alone declared against the plan, which ema- 
nated from the Prince de Conde. 

i During the Queen's detention in the Temple, he introduced 
himself into that prison in the dirty dress of a lamplighter, and 
there discharged his duty unrecognised. This act of attachment 
is still known only to his family and a few very intimate friends. 
— Note by the Editor. 


Among the persons employed in subordinate situa- 
tions whom the critical circumstances of the times 
introduced into affairs of importance was one M. de 
Goguelat, a geographical engineer at Versailles and 
an excellent draughtsman. He had made plans of 
St. Cloud and Trianon for the Queen ; she was very 
much pleased with them, and got the engineer ad- 
mitted into the staff of the army. At the commence- 
ment of the Revolution he was sent to Count Ester- 
hazy, at Valenciennes, in the capacity of aide-de-camp. 
The latter rank was given him solely to remove him 
from Versailles, where he endangered the Queen, 
during the earlier months of the Assembly of the 
States-General. Making a parade of his devotion to 
the King's interests, he went repeatedly to the tribunes 
of the Assembly, and there openly railed at all the 
motions of the deputies, and then returned to the 
Queen's antechamber, where he repeated all that he 
had just heard or had had the imprudence to say. 

I had warned the Queen of the ill effect that this 
officer's warmth produced ; and she agreed with me in 
opinion respecting it. But unfortunately, at the same 
time that she sent away M. de Goguelat, she continued 
in the belief that in a dangerous predicament, and 
one that required great self-devotion, the man might 
be employed advantageously. In 1791 he was com- 
missioned to act in concert with the Marquis de Bouille 
in furtherance of the King's intended escape. 1 

Projectors in great numbers endeavoured to intro- 

1 Upon the subject of this officer's conduct consult the 
Memoirs of M. de Bouille, those of the Duke de Choiseul, 
and the account of the journey to Varennes, by M. de Fontanges, 
in Weber's Memoirs. — Note by the Editor. 


duce themselves not only to the Queen but to Madame 
Elizabeth, who had communications with many indi- 
viduals who took upon themselves to lay down plans 
for the conduct of the Court. The Baron de Gillien 
and M. de Vanoise were of this description ; they 
went to the Baroness de Mackau's, where the Princess 
spent almost all her evenings. The Queen did not like 
these meetings, from which Madame Elizabeth might 
adopt views in manifest opposition to the King's 
intentions or her own. 

The Queen gave frequent audiences to M. de la 
Fayette. One day, when he was in her inner closet, 
his aides-de-camp, who waited for him, were walking 
up and down the great room where the persons in 
attendance remained. Some imprudent young women 
were thoughtless enough to say, with the intention of 
being overheard by those officers, that it was very 
alarming to see the Queen alone with a rebel and a 
brigand. I was hurt at such indiscretion, which always 
produced bad effects, and I imposed silence on them. 
One of them persisted in the appellation "brigand." I 
told her that, as to " rebel," M. de la Fayette well 
deserved the name ; but that the title of leader of a 
party was given by history to every man commanding 
40,000 men, a capital and forty leagues of country ; 
that Kings had frequently treated with such leaders, 
and if it was convenient to the Queen to do the same 
it remained only for us to be silent and respect her 
action. On the morrow the Queen, with a serious 
air but with the greatest kindness, asked what I had 
said respecting M. de la Fayette on the preceding 
day ; adding that she had been assured I had enjoined 


her women silence, because they did not like him, and 
that I had taken bis part. I repeated what had passed 
to the Queen word for word. She condescended to tell 
me that I had done perfectly right. 

Whenever jealousy conveyed any false reports to 
her respecting me, she was kind enough to inform me 
of them ; and they had no effect on the confidence 
with which she continued to honour me, and which I 
am happy to think I have justified, even at the risk 
of my life. 

Mesdames the King's aunts set out from Bellevue 
in the beginning of the year 1791. 1 I went to take 

1 Alexander Berthier, Prince de Neufchatel, then a colonel on 
the staff of the army, and commandant of the National Guard of 
Versailles, favoured the departure of Mesdames. The Jacobins of 
that town procured his dismissal, and he ran the greatest risk, on 
account of having rendered this service to these Princesses.* — 
Note by Madame Campan. 

* The departure of Mesdames possessed the importance of an 
event. It was an actual experiment made by the Court of the means 
to be taken to quit Paris. We will here relate, from the Memoirs 
devoted to the history of these Princesses, what concerns General 
Berthier, and the part he took in the departure of Mesdames. In the 
Historical Illustrations (I) will be found speeches, facts and discussions 
which prove the suspicions conceived by the National Party, and the 
concealed intentions of the Administration. 

" A crowd of women collected at Bellevue to oppose the setting out 
of Mesdames. On their arrival at the chateau they were told that 
Mesdames were no longer there, and they were gone with a suite of 
twenty persons. The intelligence of this departure caused a great 
ferment at the Palais Royal. All the clubs who were apprised of it 
gave orders to the leaders to put the light troops in motion. The 
department of Seine and Oise came to a resolution that there were 
no grounds for retaining the property of the Princesses. The munici- 
pality of Versailles was charged to require the commandant of the 
National Guard and the troops of the line to aid and assist. It was 
to have an understanding with the municipalities of Sevres and Meudon 
to put down all obstacles. 

" General Berthier justified the monarch's confidence by a firm 
and prudent line of conduct, which entitled him to the highest military 
honours and to the esteem of the warrior whose fortune, dangers and 
glory he afterwards shared. He went to Bellevue at midnight of the 
very day on which the order was made. As soon as the municipalities 
of Sevres and Meudon were informed of his arrival at the chateau, they 
both came to a resolution by which they left the General full liberty to 


leave of Madame Victoire. I little thought that I 
was then seeing that august and virtuous protectress 
of my earliest youth for the last time in my life. She 
received me alone in her closet, and assured me that 
she hoped and wished to return to France very soon ; 
that the French would be much to be pitied if the 
excesses of the Revolution should arrive at such a 
pitch as to force her to prolong her absence. I knew 
from the Queen that the departure of Mesdames was 
deemed necessary, in order to leave the King free to 
act when he should be compelled to go away with his 
family. It being impossible that the Constitution of 
the Clergy should be otherwise than in direct opposition 
to the religious principles of Mesdames, they thought 
that their journey to Rome would be attributed to 
piety alone. It was, however, difficult to deceive an 
Assembly which would, of course, weigh the slightest 

act for the department ; but in order to leave their own sentiments 
relative to Mesdames uncertain, these two municipalities made the 
arrangement which provided that no search should be made in either 
the chateau or its dependencies. 

"The posts were relieved quietly enough, but when it was neces- 
sary to send off the carriages, murmurs broke out and violent resistance 
was made. Part of the armed force, and the unarmed mob, declared 
that Mesdames should not go, and uttered horrible imprecations against 
those Princesses. A sapper of the National Guard of Sevres, an officer 
of the same guard and an officer of chasseurs distinguished themselves 
by formal and obstinate disobedience. Several gunners, instead of keep- 
ing the refractory in awe by remaining at their guns, cut the traces of 
one of the carriages. Such was the impotence of the laws that General 
Berthier, although invested with full powers by reiterated acts of the 
departments and municipalities of Versailles and Meudon, could not 
send off the equipages. This officer, full of honour and gifted with the 
highest courage, was shut into the courtyard of Bellevue by his own 
troop, and ran great risk of being murdered. It was not until the 
14th of March that he succeeded in executing the law. Further on 
may be seen what obstacles he had to overcome, and to what dangers 
he was exposed. He was indebted to his coolness for his preservation, 
and he contrived to prevent the carnage which he might have made 
of the factious." Vide the note of the following page and the explana- 
tion under letter (H). (" Memoirs of Mesdames," by Montigny, vol. i.) — 
Note by the Editor. 


actions of the Royal Family, and from that moment 
they were more than ever alive to what was passing 
at the Tuileries. 

Mesdames were desirous of taking Madame Eliza- 
beth to Rome. The free exercise of religion, the 
happiness of taking refuge with the head of the 
Church and living in safety with her aunt, whom 
she tenderly loved — all was sacrificed by that virtuous 
Princess to her attachment to the King's person. 1 

The oath required of priests by the Civil Constitu- 
tion of the Clergy introduced a division into France 
which added to the multiplied dangers by which the 
King was already surrounded. Mirabeau spent a 
whole night with the Cure de Saint-Eustache, con- 
fessor of the King and Queen, to persuade him to 
take the oath required by that Constitution. Their 
Majesties chose another confessor, who remained un- 

1 The Chronique de Paris, a newspaper written under the in- 
fluence of the Constitutional party, contained the following article 
on the departure of Mesdames : 

" Two Princesses, sedentary from condition, age and choice, 
find themselves all on a sudden seized with a mania for travelling 
and running all over the world. 'Tis odd, but 'tis possible. They are 
going, it is said, to kiss the Pope's toe — comical, but edifying. 

"Thirty-two sections, and all good citizens, interpose between 
them and Rome. That's of course. 

" Mesdames, and particularly Madame Adelaide, wish to enjoy 
the rights of man. 'Tis natural. 

"They do not go, they say, with intentions hostile to the 
Revolution. Possible, but doubtful. 

" These fair travellers take eighty persons in their suite— 7m 
pretty ; but they carry off twelve millions — very ugly. 

"They want change of air — that's common enough. But their 
removal makes their creditors uneasy — that's common enough also. 

" They burn to travel (a maid's desire is a consuming fire) — 
of course. Others burn to stop them — of course, too. 

" Mesdames insist that they are free to go wherever they 
please. Tis true." — Note by the Editor. 


A few months afterwards the too celebrated 
Mirabeau, the mercenary democrat and venal Royalist, 
terminated his career. The Queen regretted him, and 
was herself astonished when she spoke of her regret ; 
but she had hoped that he who had possessed adroit- 
ness and weight enough to throw everything into 
confusion would have been able, by the same means, 
to repair the mischief caused by his fatal genius. 
Much has been said respecting the cause of Mirabeau's 
death. M. Cabanis, his friend and physician, denied 
that he was poisoned. I heard what follows said to 
the Queen by M. Vicq-d'Azyr the very day on which 
the body was opened. That gentleman assured her 
that the proces-verbal drawn up on the state of the 
intestines would apply just as well to a case of death 
produced by violent remedies as to one produced by 
poison. He said also that the professional people had 
been faithful in their report ; but that it was more 
prudent to conclude it by a declaration of natural 
death, since, in the critical state in which France then 
was, a person innocent of any such crime might be 
sacrificed to public vengeance. 



Preparations for the journey to Varennes — The Queen watched and 
betrayed — Madame Campan's departure for Auvergne precedes 
that of the Royal Family for Versailles — Madame Campan hears 
of the King's arrest — Note written to her by the Queen im- 
mediately upon her return to Paris — Anecdotes — Measures taken 
for keeping the King at the Tuileries — The Queen's hair turns 
white from grief — Barnave gains the esteem and confidence of 
Marie Antoinette during the return from Versailles — His 
honourable and respectful conduct: she contrasts it with that 
of Petion — Anecdote honourable to Barnave — His advice to the 
Queen — Particulars respecting the Varennes journey. 

In the beginning of the spring of 1791* the King, 
tired of remaining at the Tuileries, wished to return to 
St. Cloud. His whole household was gone, and his 
dinner was prepared there. He got into his carriage at 
one ; the guard mutinied, shut the gates, and declared 
they would not let him pass. This event certainly 
proceeded from some appearances of a plan for an 
escape. Two persons who drew near the King's 
carriage were very ill treated. My father-in-law was 
violently laid hold of by the guards, who took his 
sword from him. The King and his family were 
obliged to alight and return to their apartments. They 
did not much regret this outrage in their hearts ; they 
saw in it a justification, even in the eyes of the people, 
of their intentions to leave Paris. 

So early as the month of March, in the same year, 



the Queen began to busy herself in preparing for her 
departure. I spent that month with her, and executed 
a great number of secret orders which she gave me 
respecting the intended event. It was with uneasiness 
that I saw her thus occupied with cares which seemed 
to me useless and even dangerous, and I remarked to 
her that the Queen of France would find linen and 
gowns everywhere. My observations were made in 
vain: she determined to have a complete wardrobe 
with her at Brussels, as well for her children as 
herself. I went out alone, and almost disguised, to 
purchase the articles necessary and have them 
made up. 

I ordered six chemises at the shop of one seam- 
stress, six at that of another, gowns, combing 
cloths, &c. My sister had a complete set of clothes 
made for Madame by the measure of her eldest 
daughter, and I ordered clothes for the Dauphin 
from those of my son. I filled a mail-trunk with 
these things, and addressed them by the Queen's 
orders to one of her women, the widow of the 
Mayor of Arras, where she lived, by virtue of an 
unlimited leave of absence, in order that she might 
be ready to start for Brussels, or any other place, 
as soon as she should be directed to do so. This 
lady had landed property in Austrian Flanders, and 
could at any time quit Arras unobserved. 

The Queen was to take only her first woman in 
attendance with her from Paris. She apprised me 
that if I should not be on duty at the moment of 
departure she would make arrangements for my 
joining her. She determined also to take with her 


her travelling dressing-case. She consulted me upon 
her idea of sending it off, under pretence of making 
a present of it to the Archduchess Christina, Gover- 
nante of the Low Countries. I ventured to oppose 
this plan strongly, and observed to her that, amidst 
so many people who watched her slightest actions, 
it might reasonably be foreseen that there would 
be found a sufficient number sharp-sighted enough 
to discover that the word "present" was used only as 
a pretence for sending away the property in question 
before her departure. She persisted in her intention, 
and all I could obtain was that the dressing-case 
should not be removed from her apartment, and a 

consent that M. de , charge d'affaires from the 

Court of Vienna during the absence of the Count 
de Mercy, should come and ask her at her toilette, 
before all her people, to order one exactly like her 
own for the Governante of the Low Countries. The 
Queen therefore commanded me, before the charge 
d'affaires, to order the article in question. This way 
of putting her intention in execution occasioned only 
the slight inconvenience of an expense of 500 louis, 
and appeared calculated to lull suspicion completely. 
If I omit no circumstance concerning this dressing- 
case it is because these minute details are important, 
since the early preparations for the journey were dis- 
covered by a woman whose conduct I had long 
suspected, and who I dreaded would give information 
of them. This was a woman belonging to the ward- 
robe ; her duty continued uninterrupted throughout 
the year. As she had been placed with the Queen 
at the time of her marriage, Her Majesty was accus- 


tomed to see her, and was pleased with her address 
and intelligence. Her situation was above that to 
which a woman of her class was entitled ; her salary 
and emoluments had been gradually increased until 
they afforded her an income of about 12,000 francs. 
She was handsome ; she received in her apartments 
above the Queen's, in the little rooms between the 
two floors, several deputies of the Tiers Etat ; and 
she had M. de Gouvion, an aide-de-camp of M. de la 
Fayette, for her lover. We shall soon see how far 
she carried her ingratitude. 

About the middle of May, 1791, a month after 
the Queen had ordered me to bespeak the dressing- 
case, she asked me whether it would soon be finished. 
I sent for the ivory-turner who had it in hand. He 
could not complete it until the end of six weeks. I 
informed the Queen of this, and she told me she 
should not be able to wait for it, as she was to set 
out in the course of June. She added that as she 
had ordered her sister's dressing-case in the presence 
of all her attendants, she had taken a sufficient pre- 
caution, especially in saying that her sister was out 
of patience at not receiving it, and that therefore 
her own must be emptied and cleaned and taken 
to the charge d'affaires, who would send it off. I 
executed this order without appearing to conceal it by 
the slightest mystery. I desired the wardrobe woman 
to take out of the dressing-case all that it contained, 
because that intended for the Archduchess could not 
be finished for some time, and to take great care 
to leave no remains of the perfumes, which might 
not suit that Princess. I will anticipate the order 


of events to show that all these precautions were 
no less useless than dangerous. 

After the return from Varennes the Mayor of 
Paris put into the Queen's hands an information by 
the wardrobe woman, dated the 21st of May, in 
which she declared that preparations were making 
at the Tuileries for departure ; that it was supposed 
she would not guess the true reason for the dressing- 
case being sent from the Queen to Brussels, but 
that the mention of a present made by Her Majesty 
to her sister was but a mere pretence ; that Her 
Majesty liked the article in question too well to 
deprive herself of it, and that she had often said 
it would be highly useful to her in case she should 
have a journey to perform. She declared also that 
I was shut up a whole evening with' the Queen 
busied in packing her diamonds ; and that she had 
found them separated with cotton upon the sofa in 
the Queen's closet at the Tuileries. From this in- 
formation the Queen concluded that this woman had, 
unknown to her, a duplicate key to the closet. Her 
Majesty did one evening, it is true, break off the 
arranging of her diamonds at seven o'clock to go to 
the card-table, and took the key of her closet, saying 
that she would come the next day and finish packing 
with me, that there was a sentinel under the window, 
that she had the key of her closet in her pocket, and 
therefore saw no danger of her jewels being stolen. 
It must then have been in the evening after we left 
the closet, or very early the next morning, that the 
wretch discovered the secret preparations. The box 
of diamonds was placed in the hands of Leonard, 


the Queen's hairdresser, 1 who went away with the 
Duke de Choiseul, and the deposit was left at 
Brussels. Their Majesties had already delivered up 
the Crown diamonds which they had in use to the 
commissioners of the Assembly ; those which the 
Queen sent out of France belonged to her in her 
own right. 

It was during these preparations for departure 
that the Queen told me she had a very precious 
charge to entrust to me, and that 1 must find out 
some person who could be relied upon in an in- 
dependent situation of life, and entirely devoted to 
their Sovereigns, to whom I should confide a port- 
folio that she would place in my hands. I pitched 
upon Madame Valayer Coster, a member of the 
Academy of Painting, who lodged in the galleries of 
the Louvre, and in whom, as well as in her husband, 
I knew that all the qualifications required by the 
Queen were to be found. They proved as faithful as 
I had foretold they would be. It was not until 
September, 1791, after the acceptance of the Con- 
stitution, that they returned the portfolio to me. The 
guilty woman, of whom I have had but too much 
to say, made her communications respecting this fact 
also. She said she had seen a portfolio upon a chair, 
where there was not usually one placed ; that the 
Queen, pointing to it, spoke to me in a whisper, and 
that it had disappeared from that time. M. Bailly, 
who sent two whole pages of these denunciations to 

1 This unfortunate man, after having emigrated for some time, 
returned to France and perished upon the scaffold. — Note by the 


the Queen, made no use of them which could possibly 
be injurious to Her Majesty. 

Madame the Duchess d'Angouleme must have 
come into possession of all the Queen's diamonds. 
Her Majesty retained nothing but a suite of pearls 
and a pair of earrings, composed of a ring and two 
drops, each formed of a single diamond. These ear- 
rings . and several fancy trinkets, which were not 
worth the trouble of packing up, remained in Her 
Majesty's cabinet at the Tuileries, and were, of 
course, seized by the committee which took possession 
of the palace on the ioth of August. 

After having made the preparations of which I 
have spoken, I had yet many private commissions, all 
relative to the departure, to fulfil. I was myself 
upon the eve of quitting Paris with my father-in-law. 
The Queen, apprehensive of the excesses in which 
the people might indulge at the moment of her flight 
against those whose attachment to her person was 
known, being unwilling that he should remain in the 
capital, desired M. Vicq-d'Azyr to prescribe the waters 
of Mont-d'Or for him. Her Majesty had also the good- 
ness to regret that my situation about her did not admit 
of my going away with her, and she offered me five 
hundred louis for the journey I had to take, until the 
time when I should rejoin her. I had as much money 
as was necessary for myself, and I knew besides of 
how much consequence it was to her to keep as much 
as possible. I therefore did not accept them. As for 
the rest, she assured me that the King was only going 
to the frontiers, there to treat with the Assembly, 
and would quit France only in case his plan and 


proposals did not produce the effect hoped for. She 
relied upon a numerous party in the Assembly, many 
of the members of which, she said, were cured of 
their first enthusiasm. I set off therefore on the ist 
of June, and on the 6th reached Mont d'Or, daily 
expecting to hear of the departure. At length the 
news arrived. I had already prepared what I thought 
would make my escape certain ; but the steps taken 
by the Assembly after the departure of Their Ma- 
jesties would have rendered that escape more difficult 
than the Queen had thought. I was ready to begin 
my journey when I heard a courier, who came from 
the little town of Besse, shouting to the inhabitants 
of Mont d'Or, with transports of joy, that the King 
and Queen were stopped. 1 That same evening the 
intelligence was confirmed, and two days afterwards 
we received a letter from the Queen, written under 
her dictation by one of her gentlemen ushers, 2 whose 
devotion and discretion were known to her. It con- 
tained these words : "I dictate from my bath, into 
which I have just thrown myself, to support, at least, 
my physical strength. I can say nothing of the state 
of my mind ; we exist, that is all. Do not return 
here, excepting upon the receipt of a letter from 
myself; this is very important." This letter, un- 
signed, bore date the day of the Queen's arrival at 
Paris. We recognised the hand of him who wrote 
it, and were much affected at seeing that at such a 

i See further on the note at page 133. See also among the 
Illustrations furnished by Madame Campan (No. 3). — Note by 
the Editor. 

2 This officer was massacred in the Queen's chamber on 
the 10th of August, 1792. — Note by Madame Campan. 


moment the unfortunate Princess had deigned to 
think of us. After the receipt of this letter I returned 
to Clermont, where the Assembly's committee de 
surveillance would have had us arrested ; but as it was 
proved that M. Campan was really ill at the moment 
of his departure from Paris, that rigorous course was 
waived. In the early part of August the Queen 
desired me to return to Paris, writing word that she 
did not see there was any further danger in my 
going there, and that my speedy return would be 
agreeable to her. I therefore cannot give any other 
particulars of Their Majesties' flight than those which 
I have heard related by the Queen and those persons 
who witnessed her return home. 

When the Royal Family were brought back from 
Varennes to the Tuileries the Queen's attendants 
found the greatest difficulty in making their way to 
her apartments. Everything had been arranged so 
that the wardrobe woman, who had acted as spy, 
should alone have the duty, and she was to be 
assisted in it by her sister and her sister's daughter. 

M. de Gouvion, M. de la Fayette's aide-de-camp, 
had this woman's portrait placed at the foot of the 
staircase which led to the Queen's apartments, in 
order that the sentinel should not permit any other 
women to make their way in. As soon as the Queen 
was informed of this pitiful precaution she informed 
the King of it, who, not being able to credit it, sent 
to the bottom of the staircase to ascertain the fact. 
His Majesty then called for M. de la Fayette, 
claimed freedom in his household, and particularly in 
that of the Queen, and ordered him to send a woman 


in whom no one but himself could confide out of the 
palace. M. de la Fayette was obliged to comply. 1 

The measures adopted for guarding the King were 
at the same time rigorous with respect to the entrance 
into the palace and insulting as to his household. The 
commandants of battalion stationed in the saloon called 
the Grand Cabinet, which led to the Queen's bed- 
chamber, were ordered to keep the door of it always 
open in order that they might have their eyes upon 
the Royal Family. The King shut this door one day; 
the officer of the guard opened it, and told him such 
were his orders and that he would always open it, 
so that His Majesty in shutting it gave himself 
useless trouble. It remained open even during the 

i The orders by which all the women attached to the Queen's 
service were kept out were broken by the people in a manner 
which is an instance of those sudden changes which striking 
circumstances never fail to effect in mobs. On the day when the 
return of the unfortunate travellers was expected, there were no 
carriages in motion in the streets of Paris. Five or six of the 
Queen's women, after being refused admittance at all the other 
gates, went with one of my sisters, who had the honour to be 
attached to Her Majesty, to that of the Feuillans, earnestly in- 
sisting that the sentinel should admit them. The poissardes 
attacked them for their boldness in resisting the orders. One of 
them seized my sister by the arm, calling her slave of the Austrian. 
" Hear me," said my sister to her firmly and in the true accent of 
the feeling which inspired her; "I have been attached to the 
Queen ever since I was fifteen years of age ; she portioned me 
and married me. I served her when she was powerful and 
happy. She is now unfortunate! Ought I to abandon her?" 
"She is right," cried these furies; "she ought not to abandon 
her mistress; let us make a passage for them." They instantly 
surrounded the sentinel, forced the passage, and introduced the 
Queen's women accompanying them to the terrace of the Feuillans. 
One of these furies, whom the slightest impulse would have driven 
to tear my sister to pieces, then taking her under her protection, 
gave her some advice by which she might reach the palace in 
safety. "But of all things, my dear friend," said she to her, 
"pull off that green sash; it is the sash of that D'Artois whom 
we will never forgive." — Note by Madame Campan. 


night, when the Queen was in bed ; and the officer 
placed himself in an arm-chair between the two 
doors with his head turned towards Her Majesty. 
They only obtained permission to have the inner 
door shut when the Queen was rising and dressing. 
The Queen had the bed of her first femme de chambrc 
placed very near her own ; this bed, which ran on 
castors and was furnished with curtains, hid her from 
the officer's sight. 

Madame de Jarjaye, my companion, who continued 
her functions during the whole period of my absence, 
told me that one night the commandant of battalion, 
who slept between the two doors, seeing that she was 
sleeping soundly and that the Queen was awake, 
quitted his post and went close to Her. Majesty to 
advise her as to the line of conduct she was to 
pursue. Although she had the kindness to desire 
him to speak lower in order that he might not 
disturb Madame de Jarjaye's rest, the latter awoke 
and was near dying with the shock of seeing a 
man in the uniform of the Parisian guard so near 
the Queen's bed. Her Majesty confronted her and 
told her not to rise ; that the person she saw was 
a good Frenchman, who was deceived respecting the 
intentions and situation of his Sovereign and herself, 
but whose conversation showed a sincere attachment 
to the King. There was a sentinel in the black 
corridor which runs behind the apartments in ques- 
tion, where there is a staircase, which was at that 
time a private one, and enabled the King and Queen 
to communicate freely. This post, which was very 
disagreeable because it was to be kept four-and-twenty 


hours, was often claimed by Saint-Prix, an actor 
belonging to the French theatre. He devoted him- 
self to it, if I may use the expression, in order to 
facilitate short interviews between the King and 
Queen in this corridor. He used to leave them 
at a distance and give them notice if he heard the 
slightest noise. M. Collot, commandant of battalion 
of the National Guard, who was charged with the 
military duty of the Queen's household, in like 
manner softened down as far as he could with 
prudence all the harsh orders he received ; for 
instance, one to follow the Queen to the very door 
of her wardrobe was never executed. An officer of 
the Parisian guard daring to speak insolently to the 
Queen in her own apartment, M. Collot wished to 
make a complaint to M. de la Fayette against him 
and have him removed. The Queen opposed it, and 
condescended to say a few words of explanation and 
kindness to the man ; he instantly became one of 
her most devoted partisans. 

The first time I saw Her Majesty after the 
unfortunate catastrophe of the Varennes journey I 
found her getting out of bed. Her features were not 
very much altered, but after the first kind words she 
uttered to me she took off her cap and desired me to 
observe the effect which grief had produced upon her 
hair. It became in one single night as white as that 
of a woman of seventy. I will not here describe the 
feelings which lacerated my heart. To speak of my 
own troubles would be quite out of place when I am 
retracing those of so exalted an unfortunate. Her 
Majesty showed me a ring she had just had mounted 


for the Princess de Lamballe. It contained a lock of 
her whitened hair with the inscription, " Bleached by 
sorrow." At the period of the acceptance of the Con- 
stitution the Princess wished to return to France. 
The Queen, who had no expectation that tranquillity 
would be restored, opposed this, but the attachment 
which Madame de Lamballe had vowed impelled her 
to come and tempt her own destruction. 

When I returned to Paris most of the harsh pre- 
cautions were abandoned. The doors were kept open, 
greater respect was paid to the Sovereign. It was 
known that the Constitution soon to be completed 
would be accepted, and a better order of things was 
hoped for. 

On the day of my arrival the Queen took me into 
her closet to tell me that she should have great need 
of me in a communication she had established with 
Barnave, Duport and Alexandre Lameth. She in- 
formed me that M. de J 1 was her negotiator with 

those remnants of the Constitutional party who had 
good intentions, but unfortunately too late, and told 
me that Barnave was a man worthy of esteem. I 
was astonished to hear Barnave's name pronounced 
with so much goodwill. When I quitted Paris a great 
number of persons spoke of him only with horror. I 
observed this to her, and she was not surprised at it, 
but told me he was much altered ; that the young 
man, who was full of talent and noble feeling, be- 
longed to that class which is distinguished by educa- 
tion, and was merely misled by the ambition to which 

1 It was the Queen who ordered M. de J to see to those 

three deputies. — Note by Madame Campan. 


real merit gave birth. "A feeling of pride which I 
cannot much blame in a young man belonging to the 
Tiers Etat," said the Queen, speaking of Barnave, 
"made him support everything which smoothed the 
road to rank and fame for the class in which he 
was born, and if we get the power into our own 
hands again, Barnave's pardon is beforehand written 
in our hearts." The Queen added that she had not 
the same feeling towards those Nobles who had 
thrown themselves into the revolutionary party, they 
who obtained all the marks of favour, and that very 
often to the injury of those of an inferior order among 
whom the greatest talent was to be found ; in short, 
that the Nobles, who were born to be the safeguard 
of the monarchy, were too guilty in having betrayed 
its cause ever to obtain their pardon. The Queen 
astonished me more and more by the warmth with 
which she justified the favourable opinion she had 
formed of Barnave. She then told me that his 
conduct upon the road was perfectly correct, while 
Petion's republican rudeness was disgusting ; that 
the latter ate and drank in the King's berlin in a 
slovenly manner, throwing the bones of the fowls 
out through the window at the risk of sending them 
even into the King's face, lifting up his glass when 
Madame Elizabeth poured him out wine to show her 
that there was enough without saying a word ; that 
this offensive behaviour must have been by design, 
because the man was not without education ; and that 
Barnave was hurt at it. On being pressed by the 
Queen to take something, " Madam," replied Barnave, 
" on so solemn an occasion the deputies of the National 


Assembly ought to engage Your Majesty's attention 
solely by their mission and by no means about their 
wants." In short, his respectful delicacy, his con- 
siderate attentions and all that he uttered gained the 
esteem not only of the Queen but of Madame Eliza- 
beth also. 

The King began to talk to Petion about the situa- 
tion of France and the motives of his conduct, which 
were founded upon the necessity of giving to the 
executive power a strength necessary for its action — 
for the good even of the Constitutional Act — since 
France could not be a Republic. " Not yet, 'tis true." 
replied Petion, "because the French are not ripe 
enough for that." This audacious and cruel answer 
silenced the King, who said no more until his arrival 
at Paris. Petion held the little Dauphin upon his 
knees and amused himself with curling the beautiful 
light hair of the interesting child round his fingers, 
and as he spoke with much gesticulation he pulled 
his locks hard enough to make the Dauphin cry out. 
" Give me my son," said the Queen to him, " he is 
accustomed to tenderness and delicacy, which render 
him little fit for such familiarity." 

The Chevalier de Dampierre was killed near the 
King's carriage upon leaving Varennes. A poor 
village Cure, some leagues from the place where the 
crime was committed, was imprudent enough to draw 
near to speak to the King. The cannibals who sur- 
rounded the carriage rushed upon him. " Tigers," 
exclaimed Barnave, " have you ceased to be French- 
men ? Nation of brave men, are you become a set 
of assassins ? " These words alone saved the Cure, 
vol. ii 9 


who was already upon the ground, from certain death. 
Barnave as he spoke to them threw himself almost 
out of the coach window, and Madame Elizabeth, 
affected by this noble burst of feeling, held him by 
the skirt of his coat. The Queen while speaking of 
this event said that in the most important and 
momentous events whimsical contrasts always struck 
her, and that on this occasion the pious Elizabeth 
holding Barnave by the flap of his coat was a sur- 
prising sight. The deputy was astonished in another, 
way. Madame Elizabeth's comments upon the state 
of France, her mild and persuasive eloquence and 
the noble simplicity with which she talked to him, at 
the same time without sacrificing her dignity in the 
slightest degree ; indeed, everything about that divine 
Princess appeared to him celestial, and his heart, which 
was doubtless inclined to right principles if he had not 
followed the wrong path, was overcome by the most 
affecting admiration. The conduct of the two deputies 
convinced the Queen of the total separation between 
the Republican and Constitutional parties. At the 
inns where she alighted she had some private con- 
versation with Barnave. The latter said a great deal 
about the errors committed by the Royalists during 
the Revolution, and declared he had found the interests 
of the Court so feeble and so badly defended that he 
had been frequently tempted to go and offer it, in 
himself, a courageous wrestler who knew the spirit of 
the age and nation. The Queen asked him what 
were the weapons he would have recommended her to 
use. " Popularity, madam." " And how could I use 
that," replied Her Majesty, " of which I had been 


deprived ? " " Ah, madam, it was much more easy 
for you to regain it than for me to acquire it." This 
assertion would furnish matter for comment ; I confine 
myself to the relation of this curious conversation. 

The Queen mainly attributed the arrest at Varennes 
to M. Goguelat. She said he calculated the time that 
would be spent in the journey erroneously. He per- 
formed that from Montmedy to Paris, before taking 
the King's last orders, alone in a postchaise, and he 
founded all his calculations upon the time he spent in 
making that transit. The trial has been made since, 
and it was found that a light carriage without any 
courier was nearly three hours less in running 
the distance than a heavy carriage preceded by a 

The Queen also blamed him for having quitted the 
high road at Pont-de-Sommevelle, where the carriage 
was to meet the forty hussars commanded by him. 
She thought that he ought to have dispersed the very 
small number of people at Varennes, and not to have 
asked the hussars whether they were for the King 
or the nation ; that particularly he ought to have 
avoided taking the King's orders, as he was aware 
of the reply M. d'Inisdal had received when it was 
proposed to carry off the King ; and that the King 
having said to Goguelat, " If force should be employed 
will it be hot work ? " he answered, " Very hot, Sire ! " 
which was sufficient to drive the King to give twenty 
counter orders. Is it possible to conceive how such 
neglect could occur as that of sending a courier to 
M. de Bouille, who would have had time to reach 
Varennes with an imposing force ? or how nobody 



even thought of stopping the courier who should 
follow the King ? Their Majesties alighted at the 
house of a grocer called M. Sauce, the Mayor of 
Varennes. The King talked to him a long time re- 
specting his reasons for quitting Paris, and wanted 
to prove to him the expediency of the measure, 
which, far from being hostile, was suggested by his 
love for his subjects. This mayor could have saved 
the King. The Queen sat down in the shop between 
two piles of candles, and conversed with Madame 
Sauce, who seemed to be a woman of weight in her 
own household, and whom M. Sauce eyed, from time 
to time, as if to consult her ; but the only reply the 
Queen got was, " What would you have, madam ? 
Your situation is very unfortunate; but, you see, that 
would expose M. Sauce ; they would cut his head 
off. A wife ought to think of her husband." " Well," 
replied the Queen, "mine is your King! He has long 
made you happy, and wishes to do so still." Madame 
Sauce went on again about the dangers of her hus- 
band : the aides-de-camp came up, and the return to 
Paris was decided. 

The Dauphin's first femme de chambre, calculating 
that delay might give M. de Bouille time to bring up 
assistance, threw herself on a bed, and began to cry 
out that she was dying of a dreadful colic. The 
Queen came up to her, and the lady squeezed her 
hand to give her to understand what she was aiming 
at. Her Majesty said she could not leave a woman 
who had sacrificed herself to attend her in a danger- 
ous journey in such a condition, and that she owed 
her every attention ; but this innocent stratagem was 


probably seen through, and not the slightest delay 
was granted. 1 

After all that the Queen had said to me respect- 
ing the mistakes made by M. Goguelat, I thought 
him of course disgraced. What was my surprise when, 
having been set at liberty after the amnesty which 
followed the acceptance of the Constitution, he pre- 
sented himself to the Queen, and was received with 
marks of the greatest kindness. She said he had 
done his best, and that the sincerity of his zeal 
ought to form an excuse for all the rest. 2 

1 The Queen informed me, whilst summing up all the events 
of that ill-omened journey, that at two leagues from Varennes, a 
stranger passed close to the King's carriage, full gallop, uttering 
aloud some words which the noise of the wheels upon the pave- 
ment prevented their hearing ; but that subsequently to their 
arrest the King and herself, recalling the sound of the stranger's 
words, were almost certain that he had said to them, "You are 
known," or "You are discovered! " — Note by Madame Campan. 

2 We have seen, at page 21 of this volume, that Madame 
Campan related the affair of the necklace twice, and that the two 
narratives, although essentially the same, differed in the nature and 
interest of the circumstances detailed. There are, in like manner, 
among her manuscripts, two accounts of the Varennes journey. 
The narrative, which we place among the Illustrations (No. 3), con- 
tains particulars relative to the preparation for the departure, the 
espionage to which the Queen was subjected, the value and rich- 
ness of her jewels, the noble pride which she displayed at the 
moment of the arrest upon the journey and during the return, 
which we ought to preserve for history : they are materials for 
forming a judgment. We will add that these minute accounts 
of places, persons and the slightest circumstances form one of the 
greatest attractions of the Memoirs, and that they will be found less 
correct, perhaps, but in greater abundance, in the second version, 
which the reader may consult. — Note by the Editor. 



Acceptance of the Constitution — Opinion of Barnave and his friends 
approved of by the Court of Vienna — Secret policy of the Court 
— The Legislative Assembly deliberates upon the ceremony to 
be observed on receiving the King — Offensive motion — Louis 
XVI. is received by the Assembly with transport — He gives 
way to profound grief when with his family — Public fetes and 
rejoicings — M. de Montmorin's conversation with Madame 
Campan upon the continual indiscretions of the people about 
the Court — The Royal Family go to the Theatre Francais — Play 
changed — Personal conflicts in the pit of the Italiens — Double 
correspondence of the Court with foreign Powers — Maison 
Civile — Method adopted by the Queen respecting her secret 
correspondence — Madame Campan's conduct when attacked by 
both parties — Particulars respecting the conduct of M. Genet, 
her brother, charge d'affaires from France to Russia — Written 
testimony of the Queen in favour of Madame Campan's zeal and 
fidelity — The King comes to see her and confirms these marks 
of confidence and satisfaction — Projected interview between 
Louis XVI. and Barnave — Attempts to poison Louis XVI. — 
Precautions taken — -The Queen consults Pitt about the Revo- 
lution — His reply — Tfcs—e mignis o ppu^u all alliance wi th the 
cimstrTutionals^- Letter from Barnave to the Queen. 

On my arrival at Paris on the 25th of August I 
found the state of feeling there much more temperate 
than I had dared to hope ; the conversation generally 
ran upon the acceptance of the Constitution and the 
fetes which would be given in consequence. The 
Queen began to hope affairs would take a better turn. 
The struggle between the Jacobins and the Constitu- 
tionals on the 17th of July, 1791, nevertheless had 


thrown her into great terror for some moments ; and 
the firing of the cannon from the Champ de Mars, 
upon a party which called for the trial of the King, 
and the leaders of which were in the very bosom of 
the Assembly, left the most gloomy impressions upon 
the Queen's mind. 

The Constitutionals, with whom her connection was 
not slackened by the intervention of the three members 
already mentioned, had faithfully served the Royal 
Family during their detention. 

" We hold the wire by which this popular mass is 

moved," said Barnave to M. de S one day, at the 

same time showing him a large volume in which the 
names of all those who were made to act at will by the 
power of gold alone were registered. It was at that 
time proposed to hire a considerable number of persons 
in order to secure loud acclamations when the King 
and his family should make their appearance at the 
play, upon the acceptance of the Constitution. That 
day, which afforded a glimmering hope of tranquillity, 
was the 14th of September. The fetes were brilliant, 
but already new alarms too imperiously forbade the 
Royal Family to give way to any consolatory feeling. 

The Legislative Assembly which had just succeeded 
the Constitutional Assembly founded their conduct upon 
the wildest Republican principles. Created from the 
midst of popular societies, it was wholly inspired by 
the spirit which animated them. The Constitution, as 
I have said, was presented to the King on the 30th of 
September. I return to this presentation, because it 
gave rise to a highly-important subject of discussion. 
All the ministers, with the exception of M. de Mont- 


morin, insisted upon the necessity of accepting the Con- 
stitutional Act in all its parts. The Prince de Kaunitz 
was likewise of the same opinion. Malouet wished the 
King to express himself candidly respecting any errors 
or dangers that he might observe in the Constitution. 
But Duport and Barnave, alarmed at the spirit pre- 
vailing in the Jacobin Club and even in the Assembly, 
where Robespierre had already denounced them as 
traitors to the country, and dreading still greater 
evils, added their opinions to those of the majority 
of the ministers and M. de Kaunitz. Those who 
really desired that the Constitution should be main- 
tained advised that it should not be accepted thus 
purely and simply; and of this number, as I have already 
said, were M. Montmorin and M. Malouet. The King 
seemed inclined to this advice, and this is one of the 
strongest proofs of the unfortunate monarch's sincerity. 1 

1 In order to confirm the opinion Madame Campan expressed 
above respecting the intentions of Louis XVI., we think we ought 
to present the account given by Bertrand de Molleville of his first 
interview with that Prince. 

"As it was the first time I ever had the honour of being so 
close to him and tete-a-tete with him, the most stupid diffidence so 
completely came over me that, if it had been my duty to speak first, 
it would have been impossible for me to have framed a single 
phrase ; but I took courage when I saw the King still more embar- 
rassed than myself, and with difficulty stammering out a few uncon- 
nected words. He in his turn became composed on seeing me at 
ease, and our conversation soon became highly interesting. 

" After a few general observations upon the perplexities of the 
existing state of things, the King said to me, ' Well, have you any 
objection remaining ?' ' No, Sire ; a desire to obey and gratify Your 
Majesty is the only feeling I am sensible of ; but in order that I may 
really be able to serve you, it is necessary that Your Majesty should 
have the goodness to inform me what is your intention with regard 
to the Constitution, and what is the line of conduct you would wish 
your Ministers to adopt.' 'That is true,' replied the King ; ' this is 
my opinion. I do not consider the Constitution by any means a 
masterpiece. I think there are very great errors in it, and if I had 
been at liberty to comment upon it advantageous alterations would 


Alexandre Lameth, Duport and Barnave, still re- 
lying on the resources of their party, hoped to have 
credit for controlling the King through the influence 
they believed they had acquired over the mind of the 
Queen. They also consulted people of acknowledged 
talent, but belonging to no council nor to any as- 
sembly. Among these was M. Dubucq, formerly 
Intendant of the Marine and the Colonies. He an- 
swered in one line : " Prevent disorder from organising 

Opinions such as those of the sententious and 
laconic M. Dubucq emanated from the aristocratic 
party, who preferred anything, even the Jacobins, to 
the establishment of the Constitutional laws ; and who, 

have been made in it. But the time is now gone by. Such as it is, 
I have sworn to maintain it ; I ought to be, and I will be, strictly 
true to my oath, and the rather as I think the utmost exactness in 
executing the mandates of the Constitution is the most certain way 
to draw the attention of the nation to the alterations that ought to 
be made in it. I neither can nor ought to have any other object 
than this. I certainly will not abandon my intention, and I wish 
my Ministers to forward it.' 'Your scheme appears infinitely judi- 
cious, Sire. I feel myself in a condition to accomplish it, and I 
engage to do so. I have not sufficiently studied the Constitution 
as a whole, and in all its parts, to form a decided opinion, and I will 
refrain from forming one until the operation of the Constitution 
shall have enabled the nation to estimate it by its effects. But may 
I venture to ask Your Majesty whether the Queen's opinion upon 
this point is in accordance with your own ?' ' Yes, certainly it is ; 
she will tell you so herself.' I immediately went to the Queen, who, 
after assuring me, with the greatest kindness, how truly she felt the 
obligation under which the King lay to me for having accepted the 
administration in so perplexing a juncture, added, ' The King has 
informed you of his views with regard to the Constitution : do you 
not think the only way is to be faithful to the oath ? ' ' Yes, cer- 
tainly, madam.' ' Well, then, be assured that we shall not be 
induced to swerve. Courage, M. Bertrand. I hope that, with 
patience, firmness and consistency, all is not yet lost.' " (" Private 
Memoirs of the Latter End of the Reign of Louis XVI.," by M. 
Bertrand de Molleville, Minister and Secretary of State under that 
Reign, vol. i., pp. 101-103.) — Note by the Editor. 


in fact, believed that any acceptance which should 
have any other appearance than that of compulsion 
would amount to a real sanction, sufficient to uphold 
the new Government. The most unbridled disorders 
seemed preferable, because they buoyed up the hope 
of a total change ; and twenty times over, upon occa- 
sions when persons but little acquainted with the 
secret policy of the Court expressed the apprehen- 
sions they entertained of the popular societies, the 
initiated answered that a sincere Royalist ought to 
favour the Jacobins. My avowal of the terror with 
which they inspired me often brought this answer 
upon me, and must even have often procured me 
the epithet of "Constitutional"! while all the time, 
through principle, and from the want of that sort of 
information which I think ought never to be found 
among persons of my sex, I was intent only upon 
diligently serving the unfortunate Princess with whom 
my destiny was united. 

The letter written by the King to the Assembly, 
claiming to accept the Constitution in the very place 
where it had been created, and where he announced he 
would be on the 14th at midday, was received with 
transport, and the reading of it was repeatedly inter- 
rupted by very general plaudits. The sitting was 
terminated by the highest flight of enthusiasm, and 
M. de la Fayette obtained the release of all those who 
were detained on account of the King's departure, 
the immediate quashing of all proceedings relative to 
the events of the Revolution, and the discontinuance 
of the use of passports and of all temporary restraints 
upon free travelling, as well in the interior as without. 



The whole was conceded by acclamation. Sixty- 
members were deputed to go to the King and express 
to him fully the satisfaction His Majesty's letter had 
given. The Keeper of the Seals quitted the chamber 
in the midst of applause to precede the deputation 
to the King. 

The King answered the speech addressed to him, 
and concluded by saying to the Assembly that a decree 
of that morning, which had abolished the Order of the 
Holy Ghost, had left him and his son alone per- 
mission to be decorated with it ; but as an Order 
had no value in his eyes save for the power of 
conferring it, he would not use it. 

The Queen, her son and Madame were at the door 
of the chamber into which the deputation was admitted. 
The King said to the deputies, " You see there my 
wife and children, who participate in my sentiments ; " 
and the Queen herself confirmed the King's assurance. 
These apparent marks of confidence were very incon- 
sistent with the agitated state of her mind. " These 
people will have no Sovereigns," said she. "We shall 
fall before their treacherous though well-planned 
tactics ; they are demolishing the monarchy stone by 

On the day after that of the deputation the par- 
ticulars of their reception by the King were reported 
to the Assembly, and they excited warm approbation. 
But the President, having put the question, whether 
the Assembly ought not to remain seated while the 
King took the oath, " Certainly," was repeated by 
many voices ; " and the King, standing, uncovered." M. 
Malouet observed that there was no occasion on which 


the nation, assembled in the presence of the King, did 
not acknowledge him as its head ; that the omission 
to treat the head of the State with the respect due 
to him would be an offence to the nation as well as 
to the monarch. He moved that the King should 
take the oath standing, and that the Assembly should 
be in the same posture while he was doing so. M. 
Malouet's observations would have carried the decree, 
but a deputy from Brittany exclaimed with a shrill 
voice that he " had an amendment to propose, 
which would render all unanimous. Let us decree," 
said he, " that M. Malouet, and whoever else shall 
so please, may have leave to receive the King upon 
their knees, but let us stick to the decree." 

The King repaired to the chamber at midday. 
His speech was followed by plaudits which lasted 
several minutes. After the signing of the Constitutional 
Act all sat down. The President rose to deliver his 
speech, but after he had begun, perceiving that the 
King did not rise to hear him, he sat down again. 
His speech made a powerful impression ; the sentence 
with which it concluded excited fresh acclamations, 
cries of " Bravo ! " and " Vive le Roi ! " " Sire," said 
he, " how important in our eyes, and how dear to our 
hearts, how sublime a feature in our history, must be 
the epoch of that regeneration which gives citizens to 
France and a country to Frenchmen — to you, as a 
King, a new title of greatness and glory, and, as a 
man, a fresh source of enjoyment and of new feelings." 

At length I hoped to see a return of that tranquillity 
which had so long been chased from the countenances 
of my august master and mistress. Their suite left 


them in the saloon ; the Queen hastily saluted the 
ladies and returned much affected. The King followed 
her, and, throwing himself into an arm-chair, put his 
handkerchief to his eyes. " Ah, madam," cried he, 
his voice choked by his tears, " why were you present 
at this sitting ? why did you witness it ? " I heard 
these words and no more. Pierced at their affliction, 
and feeling the propriety of respecting the display of it, 
I withdrew, struck with the contrast between the 
shouts of joy without the palace and the profound 
grief which oppressed the Sovereigns within. 1 Half 
an hour afterwards the Queen sent for me. She 
desired to see M. Goguelat to announce to him her 
departure on that very night for Vienna. The new 
attacks upon the dignity of the throne which had 
been exhibited during the sitting, the spirit of an 
Assembly worse than the former, the monarch put 
upon the level of a President, without any deference 
to the throne — all this proclaimed but too loudly 

1 Madame Campan, in one of her manuscripts, relates the 
preceding anecdote in a still more affecting manner. 

"The Queen attended the sitting in a private box. I re- 
marked her total silence, and the deep grief which was depicted 
in her countenance on her return. 

" The King came to her apartment the private way. He 
was pale and his features were much changed. The Queen 
uttered an exclamation of surprise at his appearance. I thought 
he was ill ; but what was my affliction when I heard the un- 
fortunate monarch say, as he threw himself into a chair and 
put his handkerchief to his eyes, ' All is lost ! Ah ! madam, 
and you are witness to this humiliation ! What ! You are 

come into France to see .' These words were interrupted 

by sobs. The Queen threw herself upon her knees before him 
and pressed him in her arms. I remained with them, not 
from any blamable curiosity, but from a stupefaction which 
rendered me incapable of determining what I ought to do. 
The Queen said to me ' Oh ! go, go ! ' with an accent which 
expressed, Do not remain to witness the dejection and despair 
of your Sovereign!" — Note by the Editor. 


that the sovereignty itself was aimed at. The Queen 
no longer saw any ground for hope from the interior 
of the country. The King wrote to the Emperor ; 
she told me she would herself, at midnight, bring 
the letter which M. Goguelat was to bear to the 
Emperor to my room. During all the remainder of 
the day the castle and the Tuileries were prodi- 
giously crowded ; the illuminations were magnificent. 
The King and Queen were requested to take an 
airing in their carriage in the Champs Elysees, 
escorted by the aides-de-camp and leaders of the 
Parisian army, the Constitutional Guard not being at 
that time organised. Many shouts of " Vive le 
Roi ! " were heard, but as often as they terminated, 
one of the mob, who never quitted the door of the 
King's carriage for a single instant, exclaimed with 
a stentorian voice, " No, don't believe them. Vive 
la nation ! " This ill-omened cry struck terror into 
the Queen ; she thought it not right, however, to 
make any complaint upon the subject, and pretended 
not to hear the isolated croak of this fanatic or base 
hireling, as if it had been drowned in the public 

A few days afterwards M. de Montmorin sent 
me a few lines to say he wanted to speak to me ; 
that he would come to me if he were not appre- 
hensive that his doing so would attract observation, 
and that he thought it would appear less particular 
if he should see me in the Queen's great closet 
at a time which he specified, and when nobody 
would be there. I went. After having made some 
polite observations upon the services I had already 


performed, and those I might yet perform, for my 
master and mistress under existing circumstances, he 
spoke to me of the King's imminent danger, of the 
plots which were hatching, and of the lamentable 
composition of the Legislative Assembly ; but he 
particularly dwelt upon the necessity of appearing, 
by prudence and circumspection in conversation, 
as firmly attached as possible to the act the King 
had just recognised. I told him that could not be 
done without committing ourselves in the eyes of 
the Royalist party, which considered moderation a 
crime ; that it was painful to hear ourselves taxed 
with being Constitutionals, at the same time that 
it was our opinion that the only Constitution which 
was consistent with the King's honour and the hap- 
piness and tranquillity of his people, was the entire 
power of the Sovereign ; that this was my creed, 
and it would hurt me to give any room for sus- 
picion that I was wavering in it. " Could you ever 
believe," said he, " that I should desire any other 
order of things? Have you any doubt of my attach- 
ment to the King's person and the maintenance of 
his rights ? " "I know it, Count," replied I ; " but 
you are not ignorant that you lie under the im- 
putation of having adopted revolutionary ideas." 
" Well, madam, have resolution enough to dissemble 
and to conceal your real sentiments ; dissimulation 
was never more necessary. The most strenuous en- 
deavours are making to paralyse the evil intentions 
of the factious to the utmost possible extent ; but 
we must not be counteracted here by certain 
dangerous expressions which are circulated in Paris, 


as dropping from the King and Queen." I told 
him that I had been already struck with an appre- 
hension of the evil which might be done by the 
intemperate observations of persons who had no 
power to act, and that having repeatedly enjoined 
silence to those in the Queen's service in a very decided 
manner, I had felt ill consequences in so doing. " I 
know that," said the Count ; " the Queen informed 
me of it, and that it was which determined me to 
come and request you to cherish, as much as you 
can, that spirit of discretion which is so necessary." 

While the household of the King and Queen was 
a prey to all these fears, the festivities in celebration 
of the acceptance of the Constitution proceeded. Their 
Majesties went to the opera. The audience consisted 
entirely of persons who sided with the King, and on 
that day the happiness of seeing him for a short time 
surrounded by faithful subjects might be enjoyed. The 
acclamations were then sincere. 

La Coquette Corrigee was selected for representation 
at the Theatre Francais solely because it was the 
piece in which Mademoiselle Contat shone most. 
Yet the notions propagated by the Queen's enemies 
coinciding in my mind with the name of the play, 
I thought the choice very ill-judged. I was at a 
loss, however, to tell Her Majesty so. But sincere 
attachment gives courage ; I explained myself. She 
was obliged to me, and desired that another play 
might be performed. They accordingly acted La 

The Queen, Madame the King's daughter and 
Madame Elizabeth were all well received on this 


occasion. It is true that the opinions and feelings 
of the whole of the spectators in the boxes could 
not be otherwise than favourable: great pains had 
been taken previous to these two performances to 
fill the pit with proper persons. But on the other 
hand the Jacobins took the same precautions on 
their side at the Theatre Italien, and the tumult 
was excessive there. The play was Gretry's Les 
Evenements Imprevus. Unfortunately, Madame Dugazon 
thought proper to bow to the Queen as she sang 
the words, "Ah! how I love my mistress!" in a 
duet. Above twenty voices immediately exclaimed 
from the pit, " No mistress ! no master ! liberty ! " 
A few replied from the boxes and slips, "Vive le 
Roi ! vive la Reine ! long live the King and Queen ! " 
Those in the pit answered, " No master, no Queen ! " 
The quarrel increased ; the pit formed into parties ; 
they began fighting, and the Jacobins were beaten 
— tufts of their black hair flew about the theatre ; : 
a strong guard arrived ; the Faubourg of St. Antoine, 
hearing of what was going forward at the Theatre 
Italien, flocked together and began to talk of 
marching towards the scene of action. The Queen 
preserved the coolest and calmest demeanour ; the 
commandants of the guard surrounded and encouraged 
her. They conducted themselves promptly and dis- 
creetly ; no accident happened. The Queen was 
highly applauded as she quitted the theatre. It 
was the last time she was ever in a playhouse. 

While couriers were bearing confidential letters 

1 At this time none but the Jacobins had discontinued the use 
of hair powder. — Note by Madame Cam pan. 



from the King to the Princes his brothers and to the 
foreign Sovereigns, the Assembly invited him to write 
to the Princes in order to induce them to return 
into France. The King desired the Abbe de 
Montesquieu to write the letter he was to send. 
This letter, which was admirably composed in a 
simple and effective style suited to the character 
of Louis XVI., and filled with very powerful argu- 
ments in favour of the advantages to be derived 
from rallying round the principles of the Constitution, 
was confided to me by the King, who desired me 
to make him a copy of it. 

At this period M. Mor , one of the intendants 

of Monsieur's household, obtained a passport from the 
Assembly to join that Prince, on account of some 
indispensable business relative to his domestic concerns. 
The Queen selected him to be the bearer of this letter ; 
she determined to give it to him herself, and to inform 
him of the origin of it. I was astonished at her choice 
of this courier. The Queen assured me he was exactly 
the man for her purpose ; that she relied even upon 
his indiscretion, and it was merely necessary that the 
letter from the King to his brothers should be known 
to exist. The Princes were, doubtless, pre-informed 
on the subject by the private correspondence. Mon- 
sieur nevertheless manifested some degree of surprise, 
and the messenger returned more grieved than pleased 
at this mark of confidence, which had nearly cost him 
his life during the Reign of Terror. 

Among the causes of uneasiness to the Queen 
there was one which was but too well founded — it 
was the thoughtlessness of the French whom she sent 


to foreign Courts. She used to say that in order to 
plume themselves upon the confidence with which 
they were honoured, they had no sooner passed the 
frontiers than they disclosed the most secret matters 
relative to the King's private sentiments, and that the 
leaders of the Revolution were informed of them through 
their agents, many of whom were Frenchmen who 
passed themselves off as emigrants in the cause of 
their King. 

After the acceptance of the Constitution the 
formation of the King's household, military as well 
as civil, formed a subject of attention. The Duke 
de Brissac had the command of the Constitutional 
Guard, which was composed of officers and men 
selected from the regiments, and of several officers 
drawn from the National Guard of Paris. The King 
was satisfied with the feelings and conduct of this 
band, which, as is well known, existed but a very 
short time. 

The new Constitution abolished what were called 
honours and the prerogatives belonging to them. The 
Duchess de Duras resigned her place of lady of the 
bedchamber, not choosing to lose her right to the 
tabouret at Court. This step hurt the Queen, who 
saw herself forsaken for obsolete privileges at a time 
when her rights were so warmly attacked. Many 
ladies of rank left the Court for the same reason. 
However, the King and Queen did not dare to form 
the civil part of their household, lest by the offices of 
new denominations they should confirm the dissolution 
of the old ones, and also lest they should admit into 
the highest offices persons not calculated to fill them. 


Some time was spent in discussing the question, 
whether the household should be formed without equerrries 
and without ladies of honour. The Queen's constitutional 
advisers were of opinion that the Assembly, having 
decreed a civil list adequate to uphold the splendour 
of the throne, would be dissatisfied at seeing the King 
adopting only a military household, and not forming 
his civil household upon the new constitutional plan. 
" How is it, madam," wrote Barnave to the Queen, 
" that you will persist in giving these people even the 
smallest doubt as to your sentiments ? When they 
decree you a civil and a military household, you, like 
young Achilles among the daughters of Lycomedes, 
eagerly seize the sword and scorn the mere ornaments." 
The Queen persisted in her determination to have no 
civil household. " If," said she, " this constitutional 
household be formed not a single person of rank wMl 
remain with us, and upon a change of affairs we shall 
be obliged to discharge the persons received into their 

"Perhaps," added she, "perhaps I might find one 
day that I had saved the Nobility if I now had reso- 
lution enough to afflict them for a time ; I have it 
not. When any measure which injures them is 
wrested from us I am mortified ; nobody comes to 
my card-party ; the King goes solitarily to bed. No 
allowance is made for political necessity ; we are 
punished for our very misfortunes." 

The Queen wrote almost all day and spent a part 
of the night in reading ; her courage supported her 
physical strength ; her temper was not at all soured 
by misfortune, and she was never seen in an ill- 


humour for a moment. She was, however, the same 
person who was held up to the people as a woman 
who was absolutely furious and mad whenever the 
rights of the Crown were in any way attacked. 

I was with her one day at one of her windows. 
We saw a man plainly dressed, like an ecclesiastic, 
surrounded by an immense crowd. The Queen ima- 
gined it was some Abbe whom they were about to 
throw into the basin of the Tuileries. She hastily 
opened her window, and sent a valet de chambre to know 
what was going forward in the garden. It was Abbe 
Gregoire, whom the men and women of the tribunes 
were bringing back in triumph, on account of a 
motion he had just made in the National Assembly 
against the Royal authority. On the following day 
the democratic journalists described the Queen as 
witnessing this triumph, and showing, by expressive 
gestures at her window, how highly she was exas- 
perated by the honours conferred upon the patriot. 

The correspondence between the Queen and the 
foreign Powers was carried on in cipher. That to 
which she gave the preference can never be detected, 
but the greatest patience is requisite for its use. 
Each correspondent must have a copy of the same 
edition of some work. She selected " Paul and Vir- 
ginia." The page and line in which the required letters, 
and occasionally a monosyllable, are to be found are 
pointed out in ciphers agreed upon. I assisted her 
in the operation of finding the letters, and very 
frequently I made an exact copy for her of all that 
she had ciphered without knowing a single word of 
its meaning. 


There were always several secret committees in 
Paris, occupied on the part of the King in collecting 
information respecting the measures of the factions, 
and in influencing some of the committees of the 

M. Bertrand de Molleville was in close correspond- 
ence with the Queen. 1 The King employed M. Talon 
and others. Much money was dissipated through the 
latter channel on account of the expenses necessary 
for the secret measures. The Queen had no confi- 
dence in them. M. de Laporte, Minister of the Civil 
List and of the Household, also attempted to give a 
bias to public opinion by means of hireling publi- 
cations ; but these papers influenced none but the 
Royalist party, which needed no bias. M. de Laporte 
had a private police, which gave him some useful 

I determined to sacrifice myself to my duty, but 
by no means to any intrigue, and I thought that, 
circumstanced as I was, I ought to confine myself to 
obedience to the Queen's orders. I frequently sent 
off couriers to foreign countries, and they were never 
discovered, so many precautions did I take. I am 
indebted for the preservation of my own existence 
to the care I took never to admit any deputy what- 
ever to my abode, and to refuse all interviews which 
even people of the highest importance often requested 

1 About the same time Bertrand de Molleville employed 
himself more successfully respecting the means of counterbalan- 
cing the influence of the tribunes by spectators and applauses 
favourable to the Court. Vide Historical Illustrations (J) for the 
success of this experiment, and the circumstances which com- 
pelled him to give it up. — Note by the Editor. 


of me. This line of conduct appeared to me the only 
one suitable to my sex and my situation at Court ; 
but it left me exposed to every species of ill-will, and 
on one and the same day I saw myself denounced 
by Prud'homme, in his Gazette Revolutionnaire, as 
capable of making an aristocrat of the mother of the 
Gracchi, if a person so dangerous as myself could 
have got into her household, and by Gauthier's 
Gazette Royaliste as a " Monarchist," a " Constitutional," 
more dangerous to the Queen's interests than a Jacobin. 
At this period an event with which I had nothing 
to do placed me in a still more critical situation. 
My brother, M. Genet, began his diplomatic career 
successfully. At eighteen he was attached to the 
embassy to Vienna ; at twenty he was appointed 
Chief Secretary of Legation in England, on occasion 
of the peace of 1783. A memorial which he pre- 
sented to M. de Vergennes, upon the dangers of the 
treaty of commerce then entered into with England, 
gave offence to M. de Calonne, a patron of that 
treaty, and particularly to M. Gerard de Rayneval, 
Chief Clerk for Foreign Affairs. So long as M. de 
Vergennes lived, having upon my father's death 
declared himself the protector of my brother, he 
supported him against the enemies his memorial had 
raised up. But upon his death, M. de Montmorin, 
being much in need of the long experience in business 
which he found in M. de Rayneval, guided himself 
solely by the latter and according to his instigation. 
The office of which my brother was the head was 
suppressed and added to the other offices of foreign 
affairs. My brother went to St. Petersburg, strongly 


recommended to the Count de Segur, Minister from 
France to that Court, who appointed him Secretary 
of Legation. Some time afterwards the Count de 
Segur left him at St. Petersburg, charged with the 
affairs of France. 1 

My brother quitted Versailles much hurt at being 
deprived of a considerable income for having penned 
a memorial which his zeal alone had dictated, and 
the importance of which was afterwards but too well 
understood. I had perceived from his correspondence 
that he inclined to some of the new notions, and had 
taken the alarm at it, when he wrote me a letter 
which left me no further room for doubt as to his 
opinions. He told me it was right he should no 
longer conceal from me that he sided with the Con- 
stitutional party — that the King had, in fact, com- 
manded it, having himself accepted the Constitution ; 
that he would proceed firmly in that course, because 
in this case disingenuousness would be fatal, and that 
he took that side of the question because he had had 
it proved to him that the foreign Powers would not 
serve the King's cause without advancing pretensions 
prompted by the most ancient interests, and which 

1 After his return from Russia M. Genet was appointed Am- 
bassador to the United States by the party called Girondists, the 
deputies who headed it being from the department of the Gironde. 
He was shortly afterwards recalled by the Robespierre party, 
which overthrew the former faction on the 31st of May, 1793, and 
condemned to appear at the bar of the Convention — that is to 
say, to ascend the scaffold. Vice-President Clinton, at that time 
Governor of New York, offered him an asylum in his house and 
the hand of Cornelia Clinton, his daughter. M. Genet's crime was 
the execution of instructions which he had received on setting out 
from the party then in power. He settled in America, and lives 
there as a rich planter and the beloved father of a family. — Note 
by Madame Campan. 


always would remain in the spirit of their councils ; 
that he saw no salvation for the King and Queen 
but from France herself, and that only by using 
every exertion to calm existing apprehensions and to 
restore harmony to the minds of men ; and that he 
would serve the constitutional King as he served him 
before the Revolution had created a necessity for 
settling the destinies of France by a new code. And, 
lastly, he requested me to impart to the Queen the 
real sentiments of one of His Majesty's agents at a 
foreign Court. I immediately went to the Queen and 
gave her my brother's letter. She read it attentively, 
and said, " This is the letter of a young man led 
astray by discontent and ambition. I know you do 
not think as he does. Do not fear that you will lose 
the confidence of the King or mine." I offered to 
discontinue all correspondence with my brother. She 
opposed that, saying it would be dangerous. I then 
entreated she would permit me in future to show her 
my own and my brother's letters, to which she con- 
sented. I wrote warmly to my brother against the 
course he had adopted. I sent my letters by sure 
channels; he answered me by the post, and no longer 
touched upon anything but his family affairs. Once 
only he wrote to me that if I should write to him 
respecting the affairs of the day he would give me no 
answer. " Serve your august mistress with the un- 
bounded devotion which is due from you," said he, 
" and let us each do our duty. I will only observe 
to you that at Paris the fogs of the Seine prevent 
people from seeing that immense capital even from 
the Pavilion of Flora, and I see it more clearly from 


St. Petersburg." The Queen said, as she read this 
letter, " Perhaps he speaks but too truly. Who can 
decide upon so disastrous a position as ours is 
become ? " The very day on which I gave the 
Queen my brother's first letter to read she had 
several audiences to give to ladies and other persons 
belonging to the Court, who came on purpose to 
inform her that my brother was an avowed Con- 
stitutional and revolutionist. The Queen replied, " I 
know it ; Madame Campan came to tell me so." 
Persons envious of my situation, and some of ill- 
regulated minds, having subjected me to mortifica- 
tions, and these unpleasant circumstances recurring 
daily, I requested the Queen's permission to withdraw 
from the Court. She exclaimed against the very 
idea ; represented it to me as extremely dangerous 
for my own reputation, and had the kindness to 
add that, for my sake as well as for her own, she 
never would consent to it. After this conversation, 
during which I was at Her Majesty's knees, bathing 
her hands with my tears, I retired to my apartment. 
A few minutes afterwards a footman brought me a 
note from her, couched in these terms : "I have 
never ceased to distinguish you, nor to give you 
and yours proofs of my attachment. I wish to tell 
you in writing that I have full faith in your honour 
and fidelity, as well as in your other good qualities, 
and that I ever rely on the zeal and address you 
exert to serve me." 1 

i I had just received this letter from the Queen when M. de la 
Chapelle, Commissary-General of the King's Household and head of 
the offices of M. de Laporte, Minister of the Civil List, came to see 
me. The palace having been already forced by the brigands on the 


At the very moment that I was going to express 
to the Queen the gratitude with which I was pene- 
trated, I heard a tapping at the door of my room, 
which opened upon the Queen's inner corridor. I 
opened it; it was the King. I was confused; he 
perceived it, and said to me kindly, " I alarm you, 
Madame Campan; I come, however, to comfort you. 
The Queen has told me how much she is hurt at the 
injustice of several persons towards you. But how 
is it that you complain of injustice and calumny 
when you see that we also are victims of them ? In 
some of your companions it is jealousy ; in the people 
belonging to the Court it is anxiety. Our situation 
is so disastrous, and we have met with so much 
ingratitude and treachery, that the apprehensions of 
those who love us are excusable. I could quiet them 

20th of June, he proposed that I should entrust the paper to him 
that he might place it in a safer situation than the apartments of 
the unfortunate Queen would be. When he returned into his 
offices he placed the letter she had condescended to write to me 
behind a large picture in his closet ; but on the ioth of August 
M. de la Chapelle was thrown into the prisons of the Abbaye, and 
the Committee of Public Safety established themselves in his offices, 
whence they issued all their decrees of death. There it was that a 
villainous servant belonging to M. de Laporte went to declare that 
in the minister's apartment, under a board in the floor, a number 
of papers would be found. They were brought forth, and M. de 
Laporte was sent the first of all to the scaffold, where he suffered 
for having betrayed the State by serving his master and Sovereign. 
M. de la Chapelle was saved, as if by a miracle, from the massacres 
of the 2nd of September. The Committee of Public Safety having 
abolished his employments, in order to seat itself in the King's 
apartments at the Tuileries, M. de la Chapelle had permission to 
return to his closet to take away some property belonging to him. 
Turning up the picture behind which he had hidden the Queen's 
letter, he found it in the place into which he had slipped it ; and, 
delighted to see that I was safe from the ill consequences the dis- 
covery of this paper might have brought upon me, he burnt it 
instantly. In troublous times a mere nothing may save life or 
destroy it. — Note by Madame Campan. 


by telling them all the secret services you perform 
for us daily; but I will not do it. Out of goodwill 
to you they would repeat all I should say, and you 
would be lost with the Assembly. It is much better 
both for you and for us that you should be thought 
a Constitutional. It has been mentioned to me a 
hundred times already. I have never contradicted it ; 
but I come to give you my word that if we are 
fortunate enough to see an end of all this, I will, 
at the Queen's residence, and in the presence of 
my brothers, relate the important services you have 
rendered us, and I will recompense you and your 
son for them." I threw myself at the King's feet 
and kissed his hand. He raised me up, saying, 
"Come, come, do not grieve; the Queen, who loves 
you, confides in your sentiments as I do." 

Occasions for mysterious and secret services re- 
curred every moment. Barnave was the only one 
of the three trustworthy deputies who had not seen 
the King and Queen since the Varennes journey. 
The espionage of the Assembly was more appre- 
hended on his account than on that of any other. 

Down to the day of the acceptance it was impossible 
to introduce Barnave into the interior of the palace ; 
but as the Queen was now rid of the inner guard, she 
said she would see him. The very great precautions 
which it was necessary for the deputy to take, in order 
to conceal his connection with the King and Queen, 
compelled them to spend two hours in waiting for 
him in one of the corridors of the Tuileries, and all in 
vain. The first day that he was to be admitted, having 
met a man whom Barnave knew to be suspicious 


in the courtyard of the palace, he determined to 
cross it without stopping, and walked in the gardens 
in order to lull suspicion. I was desired to wait for 
Barnave at a little door belonging to the entresols of 
the palace, with my hand upon the open lock. I had 
been in that position an hour. The King came to me 
frequently, and always to speak to me of the uneasi- 
ness which a servant belonging to the castle, who was 
a patriot, gave him. He came again to ask me whether 
I had heard the door called de Decret opened. I assured 
him nobody had been in the corridor, and he became 
easy. He was dreadfully apprehensive that his con- 
nection with Barnave would be discovered. " It 
would," said the King, " be a ground for capital accu- 
sations, and the unfortunate man would be lost." I 
then ventured to remind His Majesty that as I was 
not the only one in the secret of the business which 
brought Barnave in contact with their Majesties, one 
of his colleagues might be induced to speak of the 
communication with which they were honoured, and 
that, in letting them know by my presence that I also 
was informed of it, a risk was incurred of removing 
from those gentlemen part of the responsibility of the 
secret. Upon this observation the King quitted me 
hastily and returned a moment afterwards with the 
Queen. "Give me your place," said she; " I will wait 
for him in my turn. You have convinced the King. 
We must not increase in their eyes the number of 
persons informed of their communications with us." 

The police of M. Laporte, Minister of the Civil 
List, apprised him as early as the latter end of 1791 
that a man belonging to the King's offices, who had 


set up as a pastrycook at the Palais Royal, was about 
to re-enter upon the duties of his situation which had 
devolved upon him again on the death of one who 
held it for life ; that he was so furious a Jacobin that 
he had dared to say it would be a good thing for 
France if the King's days were shortened. His duty 
was confined to the mere laying out of the pastry; he 
was closely watched by the head officers of the kitchen, 
who were devoted to His Majesty ; but it is so easy 
to introduce a subtle poison into made dishes that it 
was determined the King and Queen should eat only 
plain roasted meat in future ; that their bread should 
be brought to them by M. Thierry de Ville-d' Array, 
intendant of the smaller apartments, who was likewise 
to take upon himself to supply the wine. The King was 
fond of pastry. I was directed to order some, as if for 
myself — sometimes of one pastrycook and sometimes 
of another. The pounded sugar, too, was kept in my 
room. The King, the Queen and Madame Elizabeth 
ate together, and nobody remained to wait on them. 
Each had a dumb waiter and a little bell to call the 
servants when they were wanted. M. Thierry used 
himself to bring me Their Majesties' bread and wine, 
and I locked them up in a private cupboard in the 
King's closet on the ground floor. As soon as the 
King sat down to table I took in the pastry and 
bread. All was hidden under the table lest it might be 
necessary to have the servants in. The King thought 
it dangerous as well as distressing to show any appre- 
hension of attempts against his person, or any distrust 
of his officers of the kitchen. As he never drank a 
whole bottle of wine at his meals (the Princesses drank 


nothing but water), he filled up that out of which he 
had drank about half, from the bottle served up by 
the officers of his buttery. I took it away after dinner. 
Although he never ate any other pastry than that 
which I brought, he took care in the same manner 
that it should seem that he had eaten of that served 
at table. The lady who succeeded found this duty all 
regulated, and she executed it in the same manner; 
the public never was in possession of these particulars, 
nor of the apprehensions which gave rise to them. 
At the end of three or four months the police of 
M. de Laporte gave notice that nothing more was to 
be dreaded from that sort of plot against the King's 
life ; that the plan was entirely changed, and that all 
future attempts would be directed as much against 
the throne as against the person of the Sovereign. 1 

There are others besides myself who know that, 
about this time, one of the things about which the 
Queen most desired to be satisfied was the opinion 
of the famous Pitt. She would sometimes say to me, 
" I never pronounce the name of Pitt but I feel death 
at my shoulder." (I repeat here her very expres- 
sions.) That man is the mortal enemy of France, 
and he takes a dreadful revenge for the impolitic 
support given by the Cabinet of Versailles to the 
American insurgents. He wishes, by our destruction, 
to guarantee the maritime power of his country for 
ever against the efforts made by the King to increase 

1 The details which Madame Campan gives above add weight 
to the various pieces of information she took pains to collect re- 
specting the administration of the Queen's household, the service 
and expenses of the table, &c. These accounts will be found 
among the Historical Illustrations (4). — Note by the Editor. 


his navy and their happy results during the last 
war. He knows that it is not only the King's 
policy, but his private inclination, to be solicitous 
about his fleets, and that the most active step he 
has taken during his whole reign was to visit the 
port of Cherbourg. Pitt has served the cause of the 
French Revolution from the first disturbances ; he 
will perhaps serve it until its annihilation. I will 
endeavour to learn to what point he intends to lead 

us, and I am sending M. a to London for that 

purpose. He has been intimately connected with 
Pitt, and they have often had political conversations 
respecting the French Government. I will get him 
to make Pitt speak out — at least as far as such a 
man can speak out." 

Some time afterwards the Queen told me that 
her secret envoy had returned from London, and 
that all he had been able to wring from Pitt, whom 
he found alarmingly reserved, was that he would not 
suffer the French monarchy to fall ; that to suffer the 
revolutionary spirit to erect an organised Republic in 
France would be a great error as regarding the tran- 
quillity of all Europe. " Whenever," said she, " Pitt 
expressed himself upon the necessity of supporting a 
monarchy in France, he maintained the most profound 
silence upon what concerns the monarch. The result 
of these conversations is anything but encouraging ; 

i I thought for some time that this secret agent was M. Craw- 
ford. His Memoirs, which I read very eagerly, have altered my 
opinion, because he certainly would have mentioned this mission. 
I have forgotten the name of the person whom the Queen sent to 
London, though she condescended to entrust me with it. — Note by 
Madame Campax. 


but even as to that monarchy which he wishes to 
save, will he have means and strength to save it if 
he suffer us to fall ? " 

The death of the Emperor Leopold took place on 
the ist of March, 1792. When the news of this 
event reached the Tuileries the Queen had gone out. 
Upon her return I put the letter containing it into 
her hands. She exclaimed that the Emperor had 
been poisoned ; that she had marked and preserved 
a newspaper in which, in an article upon the sitting 
of the Jacobins, at the time when the Emperor 
Leopold declared for the coalition, it was said, speak- 
ing of him, that a piecrust would settle that matter. 
From this moment the Queen considered the expres- 
sion as one which had involuntarily escaped the pro- 
pagandists. She lamented her brother. However, 
the education of Francis II., which had been super- 
intended by the Emperor Joseph, inspired her with 
new hopes. She thought he must have inherited the 
sentiments of the latter for her, and did not doubt 
that he had, under the care of his uncle, imbibed 
that valiant spirit so necessary for the support of a 
crown. At this period Barnave obtained the Queen's 
consent that he should read all the letters she should 
write. He was fearful of private correspondence that 
might hamper the plan marked out for her ; he dis- 
trusted Her Majesty's sincerity upon this point ; and 
the diversity of counsels and the necessity of yielding 
on the one hand to some of the views of the Consti- 
tutionals, and on the other to those of the French 
Princes, and even of the foreign Courts, were unfor- 
VOL. 11 11 


tunately the circumstances which most rapidly im- 
pelled the Court towards its ruin. 

The Queen wished to have shown Barnave the 
letter of condolence which she wrote to Francis II. 
This letter was to be submitted to her "triumvirate" 
(for thus did she sometimes designate the three deputies 
whom I have named). She would not hear a single 
word which, from its interference with their plans, 
might prevent its going; she was also fearful of in- 
troducing into it anything contradictory to her private 
sentiments, which the Emperor might learn by other 
means. " Sit down at that table," said she to 
me, " and sketch me out a letter. Dwell upon 
the idea that I see in my nephew the pupil of 
Joseph. If yours is better than mine you shall 
dictate it to me." I wrote a letter. She read it, 
and said, " It is the very thing. I was too deeply 
interested to keep the true line as you have done." 

The party of the Princes was much alarmed on 
being informed of the connection of the wreck of 
the constitutional party with the Queen ; and the 
Queen on her part always dreaded the party of 
the Princes and the attempts of the French who 
composed it. She did justice to the Count d'Artois, 
and often said that his party would act in contra- 
vention of his sentiments towards the King his brother 
and herself; but that he would be led away by 
people over whom Calonne had a most lamentable 
ascendency. She reproached Count Esterhazy, whom 
she had loaded with favours, for having sided with 
Calonne so entirely that she had reason to consider 
him absolutely as an enemy. 


However, the emigrants showed great apprehen- 
sions of the consequences which might follow in the 
interior from a connection with the Constitutionals, 
whom they described as a party existing no longer 
but in idea, and totally without means of repairing 
their errors. The Jacobins were preferred to them 
because, said they, there would be no treaty to be 
made with anyone at the moment of extricating the 
King and his family from the abyss in which they 
are plunged. 

I frequently read to the Queen the letters written 
to her by Barnave. One among others struck me 
forcibly, and I think I have retained the substance 
of it sufficiently well to enable to me to give a faith- 
ful account of it. He told the Queen she did not 
rely sufficiently on the strength remaining in the 
constitutional party ; that their flag was indeed torn, 
but the word " Constitution " was still legible upon 
it ; that this word would recover its virtue if the 
King and his friends would rally round it sincerely ; 
that the authors of the Constitution, enlightened with 
respect to their own errors, might yet amend it 
and restore to the throne all its splendour ; that the 
Queen must not believe that the public mind was 
favourably disposed towards the Jacobins ; that the 
weak joined them because there was no strength 
elsewhere, but the general opinion was for the Con- 
stitution ; that the party of the French Princes, un- 
fortunately shackled by the policy of foreign Courts, 
ought not to be depended on ; that the majority of 
emigrants had already destroyed by misconduct much 
of the interest excited by their misfortunes ; that 

11 — 2 


entire confidence ought not to be reposed in the 
foreign Powers, guided as they were by the policy 
of their Cabinets and not by the ties of blood ; and 
that the interior alone was capable of supporting 
the integrity of the kingdom. He concluded the 
letter by saying that he laid at Her Majesty's feet 
the only national party still in existence ; that he 
feared to name it ; but that she ought not to forget 
that Henry IV. was not assisted by foreign Princes 
in regaining his dominions, and that he ascended a 
Catholic throne after having fought at the head of 
a Protestant party. 

Barnave and his friends presumed too far upon 
their strength ; it was exhausted in the contest with 
the Court. The Queen was aware of this, and if 
she did not seem to have any confidence in them, 
it is probable that she was actuated by a policy 
which, it must be confessed, could only prove injurious 
to her. 



Fresh libel by Madame de Lamotte — The Queen refuses to purchase 
the manuscript — The King buys it — The Queen performs her 
Easter devotions secretly in 1792 — She dares not confide in 
General Dumouriez — Barnave's last advice — Gross insult 
offered to the Queen by one of the mob — The King's dejec- 
tion — The 20th of June — The King's kindness to Madame 
Campan — Iron closet— Louis XVI. entrusts a portfolio to 
Madame Campan — Importance of the documents it contained 
— Procedure of M. de la Fayette ; why it is unsuccessful— 
An assassin conceals himself in the Queen's apartments. 

In the beginning of the year 1792 a worthy priest 
requested a private interview with me. He had heard 
of the existence of a new libel by Madame de Lamotte. 
He told me he had observed in the people who came 
from London to get it printed in Paris nothing more 
than a desire of gain, and that they were ready to 
deliver him the manuscript for 1,000 louis if he could 
find any friend of the Queen disposed to make that 
sacrifice for her peace ; that he had thought of me, 
and that if Her Majesty would give him the 24,000 
francs he would deliver me the manuscript upon re- 
ceiving them. 

I communicated this proposal to the Queen, who 
rejected it, and desired me to answer that at the time 
when she had power to punish the hawkers of these 
libels she deemed them so atrocious and improbable 
that she despised the means of arresting their pro- 


gress, that if she were to be imprudent and weak 
enough to buy a single one of them the Jacobins 
might possibly discover the circumstance through their 
espionage ; that were this libel bought up it would 
be printed nevertheless, and would be much more 
dangerous when they apprised the public of the means 
she had used to suppress it. 

The Baron d'Aubier, gentleman in ordinary to the 
King and my particular friend, had a strong memory and 
a plain and easy way of communicating the substance 
of the discussions, debates and decrees of the National 
Assembly. I went daily to the Queen's apartments 
to repeat all this to the King, who used to say, on 
seeing me, "Ah! here's the Postilion par Calais. 1 ' 1 

M. d'Aubier came one day and said to me : " The 
Assembly has been much occupied with an informa- 
tion laid by the workmen of the Sevres manufactory. 
They brought to the President's office a bundle of 
pamphlets, which they said were the Life of Marie 
Antoinette. The director of the manufactory was 
ordered up to the bar, and declared he had received 
orders to burn the printed sheets in question in the 
furnaces used for baking his china." 

While I was relating this business to the Queen, 
the King coloured, and held his head down over his 
plate. The Queen said to him : " Do you know any- 
thing about this, Sire ? " The King made no answer. 
Madame Elizabeth requested him to explain what all 
this meant — still silent. I withdrew hastily. A few 
minutes afterwards the Queen came to my room and 
informed me that the King, out of regard for her, had 
i The name of a newspaper of the time. 


purchased the whole edition struck off from the manu- 
script which I had proposed to her, and that M. de 
Laporte had not been able to devise any more secret 
way of destroying the whole of the work than that of 
having it burnt at Sevres among two hundred work- 
men, one hundred and eighty of whom must, in all 
probability, be Jacobins. She told me she had con- 
cealed her vexation from the King ; that he was in 
consternation, and that she should say nothing, since 
his affection and his good intentions towards her had 
been the cause of the accident. 1 

1 Bertrand de Molleville gives the following account of this 
circumstance in his private Memoirs : 

" M. de Laporte had, by order of the King, bought up the 
whole edition of the Memoirs of the notorious Madame de Lamotte 
against the Queen. Instead of burning them or having them 
pounded to atoms immediately, he shut them up in one of the 
closets in his house. The alarming and rapid growth of the 
spirit of rebellion, the arrogance of the crowd of brigands who 
directed and in a great measure composed the populace of Paris, 
and the fresh excesses daily resulting from it, rendered the Minis- 
ter of the Civil List apprehensive that some mob might break into 
his house at a time when he should least expect it, carry off these 
Memoirs, and spread them among the public. In order to prevent 
this mischance, he gave orders for having the Memoirs burnt with 
every necessary precaution and secrecy ; and the clerk who received 
the order entrusted the execution of it to a man named Riston, a 
dangerous intriguer and a detestable fellow, formerly an advocate 
of Nancy, who had a twelvemonth before escaped the gallows 
by favour of the new principles and the patriotism of the new 
tribunals, although convicted of forging the Great Seal and fabri- 
cating decrees of the Council in a proceeding instituted at the 
instance of the tribunal of the King's palace, in which I examined 
and confronted the parties at the risk of attempts at assassina- 
tion, not only by the accused, who, during one of the sittings, was 
so enraged that he rushed at me with a knife in his hand, but 
also by the brigands in his pay, who filled the court and were 
furious at seeing that their menacing howlings did not prevent 
my repressing the insults incessantly offered by the accused to 
the witnesses who deposed against him. 

" This very Riston, who a year before was labouring under a 
capital accusation preferred against him in the name and by the 
direction of the King, finding himself entrusted with a commission 


Some time afterwards the Assembly received a de- 
nunciation against M. de Montmorin. The ex-minister 
was accused of having neglected forty despatches from 
M. Genet, the charge d'affaires from France in Russia, 
without having even unsealed them, because M. Genet 
acted on constitutional principles. M. de Montmorin 
appeared at the bar to answer this accusation. 
Whatever distress I might feel at the moment in 
obeying the order I had received from the King to 
go and give him an account of the sitting, I thought 
I ought not to fail in doing so. But instead of 
giving my brother his family name, I merely said, 
" Your Majesty's charge d'affaires at St. Petersburg." 

The King did me the favour to say that he 
observed a reserve in my account, of which he 
approved. The Queen condescended to add a few 
obliging remarks to those of the King, by which I 
was already so much affected that I withdrew in 
great emotion. However, my office of journalist 

which concerned Her Majesty, and the mystery attending which 
bespoke something of importance, was far less anxious to execute 
it faithfully than to make a parade of this mark of confidence. On 
the 30th of May, at ten in the morning, he had the sheets carried 
to the porcelain manufactory at Sevres in a cart which he himself 
accompanied, and made a large fire of them before all the workmen, 
who were expressly forbidden to approach it. All these precautions, 
and the suspicions to which they naturally gave rise under such 
critical circumstances, gave so much publicity to this mysterious 
affair that it was denounced to the Assembly that very night. 
Brissot and the whole Jacobin party, with equal effrontery and 
vehemence, insisted that the papers thus secretly burnt were not, 
and could not be, any other than the registers and documents of 
the correspondence of the Austrian Committee. M. de Laporte 
was ordered to the bar, and there gave the most exact account 
of the circumstances. Riston was also called up, and confirmed 
M. de Laporte's deposition. But these explanations, however satis- 
factory, did not calm the violent ferment raised in the Assembly by 
this affair." — Note by the Editor. 


gave me, in this instance, so much pain that I took 
an opportunity, when the King was expressing his 
satisfaction to me at the manner in which I gave 
him this daily account, to tell him that its merits 
belonged wholly to M. d'Aubier, who attended all 
the sittings to give me a summary of them ; and 
I then ventured to request the King to suffer that 
excellent man to come and give him an account of 
the sittings himself. I went so far as to add that, 
at a time when the King's feelings were wounded 
by the conduct of so many faithless subjects, it 
appeared to me that men warmly devoted to him as 
M. d'Aubier was, deserved the honour of being 
about His Majesty. I assured the King that, if he 
would permit it, that gentleman might proceed to 
the Queen's apartments through mine unseen. The 
King consented to the arrangement. Thenceforward 
M. d'Aubier was admitted into the interior, and gave 
the King repeated proofs of zeal and attachment with 
much intelligence. 

The Cure of Saint-Eustache ceased to be the 
Queen's confessor when he took the Constitutional 
oath. I do not remember the name of the eccle- 
siastic who succeeded him in that office; I only know 
that he was conducted into her apartments with the 
greatest mystery. Their Majesties did not perform 
their Easter devotions in public, because they could 
neither declare for the Constitutional clergy nor act so 
as to show that they were against them. 

The Queen did perform her Easter devotions in 
1792, but she went to the chapel attended only by 
myself. She desired me beforehand to request one 


of my relations, who was her chaplain, to perform 
Mass for her at five o'clock in the morning. It was 
still dark ; she gave me her arm, and I carried a 
taper. I left her entirely alone at the chapel door, 
and she did not return to her room until the dawn 
of day. This piece of duty, performed with so much 
mystery, could not tend to edify the public, but 
demonstrates the Queen's religious principles. 

Dangers increased daily. The Assembly was 
strengthened in the eyes of the people by the hos- 
tilities of the foreign armies and the army of the 
Princes. The communication with the latter party 
became more active ; the Queen wrote almost every 
day. M. de Goguelat possessed her confidence for all 
correspondence with the foreign parties, and I was 
obliged to have him in my apartments ; the Queen 
asked for him very frequently, and at times which 
she could not previously appoint. 

All parties were exerting themselves either to ruin 
or to save the King. One day I found the Queen 
extremely agitated ; she told me she no longer knew 
where she was ; that the leaders of the Jacobins 
offered themselves to her through the medium of 
Dumouriez ; and that Dumouriez, abandoning the 
Jacobins, had come and offered himself to her ; that 
she had granted him an audience ; that when alone 
with her he had thrown himself at her feet and told 
her that he had drawn the bonnet rouge over his head to 
the very ears, but that he neither was nor could be 
a Jacobin ; that the Revolution had been suffered to 
extend even to that rabble of destroyers who, thinking 
of nothing but pillage, were ripe for anything, and 


might furnish the Assembly with a formidable army 
ready to undermine the remains of a throne already 
too much shaken. Whilst speaking, with the utmost 
ardour he seized the Queen's hand and kissed it with 
transport, exclaiming, " Suffer yourself to be saved." 
The Queen told me that the protestations of a traitor 
were not to be relied on ; that the whole of his 
conduct was so well known that, undoubtedly, the 
wisest course was not to trust to it ; * that, moreover, 
the Princes particularly recommended that no con- 
fidence should be placed in any proposition emanating 
from within the kingdom; that the force without 
became imposing, and that it was better to rely upon 
their success and upon the protection due from Heaven 
to a Sovereign so virtuous as Louis XVI. and to so 
just a cause. 

The Constitutionals, on their part, saw that there 
had been nothing more than a mere pretence of lis- 
tening to them. Barnave's last advice was as to the 
means of continuing a few weeks longer the Consti- 
tutional Guard, which had been denounced to the 
Assembly and was to be disbanded. The denunciation 
against the Constitutional Guard affected only its staff 
and the Duke de Brissac. Barnave wrote to the Queen 
that the staff of the guard was already attacked ; that 
the Assembly was about to pass a decree to reduce 

1 The sincerity of General Dumouriez cannot be the object of 
a single doubt in this instance. The second volume of his Memoirs 
shows how unjust the distrust and reproaches of the Queen were. 
By rejecting his offers and refusing his services Marie Antoinette 
deprived herself of her only remaining support. He who saved 
France in the defiles of Argonne would, perhaps, have saved France 
before the 20th of June had he obtained the full confidence of 
Louis XVI. and the Queen. — Note by the Editor. 


it, and he entreated her to prevail on the King, the 
very instant the decree should appear, to form the staff 
afresh, and to make it up of persons whose names 
he sent her. I did not see the list, but Barnave 
said that all who were set down in it passed for 
decided Jacobins, but were not so in fact ; that they, 
as well as himself, were in despair at seeing the 
monarchical government attacked ; that they had 
learned to dissemble their sentiments, and that it 
would be at least a fortnight before the Assembly 
could know them well, and certainly before it could 
succeed in make them unpopular ; that it would be 
necessary to take advantage of that short space of 
time to get away from Paris, and to do so immediately 
after the nomination of those whom he pointed out. 
The Queen was of opinion that she ought not to 
yield to this advice. The Duke de Brissac was 
sent to Orleans, and the guard was reduced. 

Barnave, seeing that the Queen did not follow 
his counsel in anything, and convinced that she 
placed all her reliance on assistance from abroad, 
determined to quit Paris. He obtained a last 
audience. " Your misfortunes, madam," said he, " and 
those which I anticipate for France, determined me 
to sacrifice myself to serve you. I see that my advice 
does not agree with the views of Your Majesties. I 
augur but little advantage from the plan you are 
induced to pursue ; you are too remote from your 
supports ; you will be lost before they reach you. 
Most ardently do I wish I may be mistaken in so 
lamentable a prediction ; but I am sure to lose my 
head for interesting myself in your misfortunes and 


for the services I have sought to render you. I 
request, for my sole reward, the honour of kissing 
your hand." The Queen, her eyes suffused with 
tears, granted him that favour, and remained im- 
pressed with the most favourable idea of this deputy's 
elevated sentiments. Madame Elizabeth participated 
in this opinion, and the two Princesses frequently 
spoke -of Barnave. She also received M. Duport 
several times, but with less mystery. Her connec- 
tion with the Constitutional deputies transpired. 
Alexandre de Lameth was the only one of the 
three who survived the vengeance of the Jacobins. 1 

i After what we have just read respecting Barnave, after his 
well-known labours in the cause of liberty, his efforts to support the 
throne, his talents and his eloquence, the latter circumstances of 
his life possess a high degree of interest. The " Biographie de 
Bruxelles " relates them in these words : 

"When, after the Revolution of the ioth of August, 1792, the 
iron closet of the castle of the Tuileries had been discovered and 
forced, a considerable number of documents, which had been im- 
prudently preserved in it, and which were communicated to the 
Convention by Gohier, who had just succeeded Danton in the 
administration of justice, proved that the Court had established and 
maintained, during the latter months of the session of the Con- 
stituent Assembly, and from the time of the meeting of the Legisla- 
tive Assembly, constant communication with the most powerful 
members of those Assemblies. Barnave being accused, on the 15th 
of August, 1792, with Alexandre de Lameth, ex-member of the 
Constituent Assembly, Bertrand de Molleville, Duport de Tertre, 
Duportail, Montmorin, and Tarbe, ex-ministers of the Marine, of 
Justice, of War, of Foreign Affairs, and of Public Contributions, was 
arrested at Grenoble, and shut up in the prison of that town. He 
remained there fifteen months, and his friends began to indulge the 
hope that he would be forgotten, when an order arrived that he 
should be removed to Paris. At first he was imprisoned in the 
Abbaye, but transferred a few days afterwards to the Conciergerie, 
and almost immediately taken before the revolutionary tribunal. 
He appeared there with wonderful firmness, summed up the services 
he had rendered to the cause of liberty with his usual eloquence 
and without losing anything of the dignity of misfortune, and made 
such an impression upon the numerous auditory present at the 
debates that, although accustomed to behold only conspirators 
worthy of death in all those who appeared before the tribunal, they 


The National Guard, which succeeded the King's 
Guard, having occupied the gates of the Tuileries, 
all who came to see the Queen were incessantly 
insulted with impunity. 

The most menacing cries were uttered aloud even 
in the Tuileries ; they called for the destruction of the 
throne and the murder of the Sovereign. These 
insults assumed the character of the very lowest of 
the mob. The Queen one day, hearing roars of 
laughter under her windows, desired me to see what 
it was about. I saw a man almost undressed turning 
his back towards her apartments. My astonishment 
and indignation were apparent. The Queen rose to 
come forward ; I held her back, telling her that it 
was a very gross insult offered by one of the rabble. 

About this time the King fell into a state of 
despondence which amounted almost to physical help- 
lessness. He passed ten successive days without 
uttering a single word, even in the bosom of his 
family; except, indeed, in playing at backgammon with 
Madame Elizabeth, when he was obliged to pronounce 
the words belonging to that game. The Queen roused 
him from this state, so fatal at a critical period, 
when every minute increased the necessity for action, 

themselves considered his acquittal certain. The decree of death 
was read amidst the deepest silence ; but Barnave's firmness was 
immovable. When he left the court he cast upon the judges, the 
jurors and the public looks expressive of contempt and indignation. 
He was led to his fate with the respected Duport de Tertre, one of 
the last ministers of Louis XVI. When he had ascended the 
scaffold, Barnave stamped, raised his eyes to heaven, and said, 
"This, then, is the reward of all that I have done for liberty! " 
He fell on the 29th of October, 1793, in the thirty-second year of 
his age ; his bust is now in the Grenoble Museum. The Consular 
Government placed his statue next to that of Vergniaud, on the 
great staircase of the senatorial palace. — Note by the Editor. 


by throwing herself at his feet, urging every idea 
calculated to excite alarm, and employing every 
affectionate expression. She represented also what 
he owed to his family, and went so far as to tell 
him that, if they were doomed to fall, they ought to 
fall honourably, and not wait to be both smothered 
upon the floor of their apartment. 

About the 15th of June the King refused his 
sanction to the two decrees ordaining the deporta- 
tion of priests and the formation of a camp of 
twenty thousand men under the walls of Paris. He 
wished himself to sanction them, and said that the 
general insurrection only waited for a pretence to 
burst forth. 1 The Queen insisted upon the veto, and 

1 This assertion contradicts the almost unanimous testimony 
of historians. When we reflect on the piety of Louis XVI., 
his respect for religion, and the deference he always mani- 
fested towards its ministers, we must hesitate to believe that 
Madame Campan could be well informed as to this fact. To 
say nothing of Dumouriez, who tells us precisely the contrary, 
Bertrand de Molleville enters into some particulars upon the 
subject which leave no room for doubt. 

"The Assembly," says he, "which kept up its credit by 
acts of violence, passed a decree against non-Constitutional 
priests to oblige them to take a fresh oath or quit the king- 
dom. The bishops then at Paris met to draw up a petition 
against this decree, under a conviction that the King, who had 
already shown the deepest regret at having sanctioned the 
decrees relating to the clergy, would rejoice at having grounds 
pointed out to him for refusing his sanction to this. When 
the petition was drawn up, they applied to put it into His 
Majesty's hands ; and the Bishop of Uzes had a private cor- 
respondence with me on this occasion ; for at this period no 
minister could have received a bishop publicly without be- 
coming an object of suspicion to the nation. 

"The King appeared much moved upon reading the petition, 
and said to me, with all that energy which always warmed 
him when religion was under discussion : ' They may be very 
sure I will never sanction it. But the question is, whether I 
ought to assign a reason for my refusal, or give it plainly 
and simply, according to the usual formula, or whether, under 
all circumstances, it is not more prudent to temporise. Try 


reproached herself bitterly when this last act of the 
Constitutional authority had occasioned the scenes of 
the 20th of June. 

A few days previously above twenty thousand men 
had gone to the Commune to announce that on the 
20th they would plant the tree of liberty at the door 
of the National Assembly, and present a petition to 
the King respecting the veto which he had placed upon 
the decree for the deportation of the priests. This 
dreadful army crossed the gardens of the Tuileries and 
marched under the Queen's windows. It consisted of 

to find out what your colleagues think about it before it is 
discussed in council,' I observed to the King that the Con- 
stitution dispensed with any reason for his refusal to sanction, 
and that, although the Assembly ought to be pleased at seeing 
His Majesty waive so important a prerogative, they were so ill- 
disposed that they were capable of carrying their insolence so 
far as to refuse to hear the King's reasons, and would even 
reproach him for this departure from the Constitution as a mani- 
fest violation of his oath ; that as to temporising, it would be 
showing weakness, and inviting the Assembly, already very en- 
terprising, to become still more so ; and therefore that a plain 
unexplained refusal of the sanction was the safest and most 
expedient course. 

" This matter was discussed the next day at the council of 
the ministers. They all saw the unavoidable necessity for re- 
fusing the sanction, and at the following council they unani- 
mously recommended that course to the King, who determined 
upon it with the greatest satisfaction. But this gleam of happi- 
ness was clouded by a proposal made to him by the Minister 
of the Interior immediately to form his chapel and that of the 
Queen of Constitutional priests, as the most certain way to 
shut the mouth of malevolence and completely convince the 
people of his sincere attachment to the Constitution. ' No, sir, 
no,' replied the King, in the firmest tone, ' Do not speak of 
that to me. Let me be left at rest upon that point. When 
the liberty of worship was established, it was established 
generally; I ought therefore to enjoy it.' The warmth with 
which the King spoke surprised us all, and silenced M. Cahier 
de Gerville." 

Consult the interesting particulars contained in the latter 
part of these Memoirs upon the subject, and generally upon 
the religious sentiments of Louis XVI. — Note by the Editor. 


people who called themselves the citizens of the 
Faubourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau. Covered as 
they were with filthy clothes, they all bore the most 
terrifying appearance, and the steam from them infected 
the air. People asked each other whence such an army 
could come — nothing so disgusting had ever before 
appeared in Paris. 

On the 20th of June this mob thronged about the 
Tuileries in still greater numbers, armed with pikes, 
hatchets and murderous instruments of all kinds, de- 
corated with ribbons of the national colours, shouting, 
" The nation for ever ! Down with the veto ! " The 
King was without guards. Some of these demoniacs 
rushed up to his apartment. The door was about 
to be forced in when the King commanded that it 
should be opened. MM. de Bougainville, d'Hervilly, de 
Parois, d'Aubier, Acloque, 1 Gentil, and other courageous 
men who were in the apartment of M. de Septenil, the 
King's first valet de chambre, instantly ran to His 
Majesty's apartment. M. de Bougainville, seeing the 
torrent furiously advancing, cried out, " Put the King 
in the recess of the window, and place benches before 
him." Six Royalist grenadiers of the battalion of the 
Filles Saint Thomas made their way by an inner stair- 
case and ranged themselves before the benches. The 
order given by M. de Bougainville saved the King 
from the blades of the assassins, among whom was a 

i A citizen of Paris, commandant of battalion, who, during 
the whole of the Revolution was, both in virtue and conduct, in 
direct opposition to the regicide Santerre.* — Note by Madame 

* His son is now a major of the National Guard of Paris. — Note by the 

VOL. II 12 


Pole named Lazousky, who was to strike the first 
blow. The King's brave defenders said, " Sire, fear 
nothing." The King's reply is well known : " Put 
your hand upon my heart, and you will perceive 
whether I am afraid or not." M. Vanot, com- 
mandant of battalion, warded off a blow aimed by 
a wretch against the King's person ; a grenadier of 
the Filles Saint Thomas parried a sword thrust made 
in the same direction. Madame Elizabeth ran to her 
brother's apartments. When she reached the door of 
his room she heard loud threats of death against the 
Queen — they called for the head of the Austrian. 
" Ah ! let them think I am the Queen," said she to 
those around her, " that she may have time to 

The Queen could not join the King. She was in 
the council chamber, where the idea had also been 
suggested of placing her behind the great table to 
protect her as much as possible against the approach 
of the barbarians. Preserving a noble and becoming 
demeanour in this dreadful situation, she held the 
Dauphin before her seated upon the table. Madame 
was at her side ; the Princess de Lamballe, the 
Princess de Tarente, Madame de la Roche-Aymon, 
Madame de Tourzel, and Madame de Mackau sur- 
rounded her. She had fixed a tricoloured cockade, 
which one of the National Guard had given her, upon 
her head. The poor little Dauphin was, as well as 
the King, shrouded in an enormous red cap. 1 The 

1 " One of the circumstances of the day of the 20th of June 
which most vexed the King's friends," says Bertrand de Molleville, 
"being that of the bonnet rouge having remained upon his head 
nearly three hours, I ventured to ask him for some explanation 


horde passed in files before the table ; the standards 
they carried were symbols of the most atrocious bar- 
barity. There was one representing a gibbet, to 
which a dirty doll was suspended; the words "Marie 
Antoinette a la lanterne " were written beneath it. 
Another was a board to which a bullock's heart was 
fastened, with an inscription round it, " Heart of 
Louis XVI." ; and then a third showed the horns 
of an ox, with an obscene legend. 

One of the most furious Jacobin women who 
marched with these wretches stopped to give vent 
to a thousand imprecations against the Queen. Her 
Majesty asked her whether she had ever seen her. 
She replied that she had not. Whether she had done 
her any personal wrong. Her answer was the same ; 
but she added, "It is you who have caused the 
misery of the nation." " You have been told so," 
answered the Queen ; " you are deceived. As the 

upon the fact, which was so strikingly in contrast with the extra- 
ordinary intrepidity and courage shown by His Majesty during 
that horrible day. This was his answer: 'The cries of "The 
nation for ever ! " violently increasing around me, and seeming to 
be addressed to me, I replied that the nation had not a warmer 
friend than myself. Upon this an ill-looking man, making his way 
through the crowd, came up to me and said rather roughly, " Well, 
if you speak the truth, prove it by putting on this red cap." "I 
consent," replied I. One or two of them immediately came forward 
and placed the cap upon my hair, for it was too small for my head. 
I was convinced, I knew not why, that his intention was merely to 
place the cap upon my head for a moment, and then to take it off 
again ; and I was so completely taken up with what was passing 
before me that I did not feel whether the cap did or did not remain 
upon my hair. I was so little aware of it that when I returned to 
my room I knew only from being told so that it was still there. I 
was very much surprised to find it upon my head ; and was the more 
vexed at it, because I might have taken it off immediately without 
the smallest difficulty. But I am satisfied that if I had hesitated to 
consent to its being placed upon my head the drunken fellow who 
offered it to me would have thrust his pike into my stomach.' " — 
Note by the Editor. 

12 — 2 


wife of the King of France, and mother of the 
Dauphin, I am a Frenchwoman. I shall never see 
my own country again. I can be happy or unhappy 
only in France. I was happy when you loved me." 
The fury began to weep, asked her pardon, and said, 
" It was because I did not know you ; I see that 
you are good." 

Santerre, the monarch of the faubourgs, made 
his subjects file off as quickly as he could ; and it 
was thought at the time that he was ignorant of the 
object of this insurrection, which was the murder of 
the Royal Family. 1 However, it was eight o'clock 
in the evening before the palace was completely 
cleared. Twelve deputies, impelled by their attach- 
ment to the King's person, came and ranged them- 
selves near him at the very commencement of the 
insurrection ; but the deputation from the Assembly 
did not reach the Tuileries until six in the evening. 
All the doors of the apartments were broken. The 
Queen pointed out to the deputies the state of the 
King's palace, and the disgraceful manner in which 
his asylum had been violated under the very eyes 

i Montjoie, one of the most decided Royalist writers, thus 
expresses himself respecting Santerre in the " History of Marie 
Antoinette" (pp. 295 and 296); and this testimony of his appears 
the more remarkable as it was the less to be expected : 

" The muscular expansion of his tall person, the sonorous 
hoarseness of his voice, his rough manners, and his easy and vulgar 
eloquence, of course made him a hero among the lower rabble. 
And in truth he had gained a despotic empire over the dregs of the 
faubourgs. He moved them at will, but that was all he knew how to 
do, or could do ; for, as to the rest, he was neither wicked nor cruel. 
He engaged blindly in all conspiracies, but he was never guilty 
of the execution of them, either by himself or by those who obeyed 
him. He was always concerned for an unfortunate person, of what- 
ever party he might be. Affliction and tears disarmed his hands." 
— Note by the Editor. 


of the Assembly. She saw that Merlin de Thionville 
was so much affected as to shed tears while she 
spoke. " You weep, M. Merlin," she said to him, 
" at seeing the King and his family so cruelly treated 
by a people whom he always wished to make happy." 

" True, madam," replied Merlin ; " I weep for the 
misfortunes of a beautiful and feeling woman, the 
mother of a family ; but do not mistake — not one of 
my tears falls for either King or Queen. I hate kings 
and queens ; it is the only feeling they inspire me 
with : it is my religion." The Queen could not un- 
derstand this madness, and saw all that was to be 
apprehended from persons who were seized with it. 

All hope was gone, and nothing was thought of but 
succour from abroad. The Queen entreated her family 
and the King's brothers; her letters probably became 
more pressing, and expressed her apprehensions upon 
the tardiness of relief. Her Majesty read me one to 
herself from the Archduchess Christina, Gouvernante 
of the Low Countries. She reproached her for some 
of her expressions, and told her that those out of 
France were at least as much alarmed as herself at 
the King's situation and her own ; but that the 
manner of attempting to assist her might either save 
her or endanger her safety ; and that the members of 
the Coalition were bound to act prudently, entrusted 
as they were with interests so dear to them. 

The 14th of July, fixed by the Constitution as the 
anniversary of the independence of the nation, drew 
near. The King and Queen were compelled to make 
their appearance on the occasion. Aware that the 
plot of the 20th of June had for its object their 


assassination, they had no doubt but that their death 
was determined on for the day of this national festival. 
The Queen was recommended, in order to give the 
King's friends time to defend him if the attack should 
be made, to guard him against the first stroke of a 
dagger by making him wear a breastplate. I was 
directed to get one made in my apartments : it was 
composed of fifteen folds of Italian taffety, formed 
into an under-waistcoat and a wide belt. This breast- 
plate was tried ; it resisted all thrusts of the dagger, 
and several balls fired for the purpose were turned 
aside by it. When it was completed, the difficulty 
was to let the King try it on without running the risk 
of being surprised. I wore the immense heavy waist- 
coat as an under-petticoat for three days without 
being able to find the favourable moment. At length 
the King found an opportunity one morning to pull 
off his coat in the Queen's chamber and try on the 
breastplate. 1 

The Queen was in bed. The King pulled me 
gently by the gown and drew me as far as he could 
from the Queen's bed, and said to me in a very low 
tone of voice, "It is to satisfy her that I submit to 
this inconvenience ; they will not assassinate me ; 
their scheme is changed ; they will put me to death 
another way." The Queen heard the King whispering 
to me, and when he was gone out she asked me 
what he had said. I hesitated to answer ; she insisted 
that I should, saying that nothing must be concealed 

i M. Gentil, the first valet of the wardrobe, assisted me to try 
on this under-waistcoat which the King wore on the 14th of July, 
1792, but M. de Paris had a second made a few days before the 
10th of August. — Note by Madame Campan. 


from her, and that she was resigned upon every point. 
When she was informed of the King's remark she 
told me she had guessed it ; that he had long since 
observed to her that all which was going forward in 
France was an imitation of the revolution in England 
in the time of Charles I. ; and that he was incessantly- 
reading the history of that unfortunate monarch, in 
order that he might act better than Charles had done 
at a similar crisis. 1 " I begin to be fearful of the 
King being brought to trial," continued the Queen ; 
" as to me, I am a foreigner ; they will assassinate 
me. What will become of my poor children ? " These 

1 A passage in Bertrand de Molleville shows by what gloomy 
presentiments the unfortunate Prince was overwhelmed, and proves 
with what courageous resignation he foresaw his fate and prepared 
to undergo it. His family were his only care. He had no appre- 
hension but for them. The feelings of the friend, the husband 
and the father constantly weakened or usurped the resolutions of 
the King. 

"His usual book was the 'History of Charles I.,' and his 
principal attention was directed to avoiding in all his actions every- 
thing that it appeared to him would serve as a pretence for a 
judicial accusation. He would readily have sacrificed his life, but 
not the glory of France, which an assassination, that would have 
been only the crime of a few individuals, would not have tarnished. 

" It was not until the private conversation which I had with 
the King, at nine o'clock on the evening of the 21st of June, that I 
was able to judge how far he was governed by these dismal antici- 
pations. To all my congratulations upon his good fortune in 
escaping the dangers of the preceding day, His Majesty answered 
with the utmost indifference : ' All my uneasiness was about the 

Queen and my sister ; for as to myself ' ' But it appears to me,' 

said I, ' this insurrection was directed chiefly against Your Majesty.' 
' I know it well ; I saw that they wished to assassinate me, and I 
cannot tell how it was that they did not do so. But I shall not escape 
them another time, so that I am no better off; there is but little 
difference in being assassinated two months earlier or later.' ' Good 
heavens, Sire ! ' exclaimed I, ' can Your Majesty, then, so stead- 
fastly believe that you will be assassinated ? ' ' Yes, I am certain 
of it. I have long expected it, and have made up my mind. Do you 
think I fear death ? ' ' No, surely ; but I should be glad to see Your 
Majesty less determined to expect that event, and more disposed to 
adopt vigorous measures, which are now become the only means by 


sad ejaculations were followed by a torrent of tears. 1 
I wished to give her an antispasmodic ; she refused it, 
saying that it was only for women who were happy 
to feel nervous, and that the cruel situation to which she 
was reduced rendered these remedies useless. In fact 
the Queen, who during her happier days was frequently 
attacked by hysterical disorders, enjoyed a more uniform 
state of health when all the faculties of her soul were 
called forth to support her physical strength. 

which Your Majesty can look to be rescued. ' * I believe that ; but still 
there would be many chances against me, and I am not fortunate. 
I should be at no loss if I had not my family with me. It would 
soon be seen that I am not so weak as they think me ; but what 
will become of my wife and children if I do not succeed ? ' ' But 
does Your Majesty think that if you were assassinated your family 
would be more secure ? ' ' Yes, I do think so ; at least I hope so. 
And if it happened otherwise I should not have to reproach myself 
with being the cause of their misfortunes. Besides, what could I 
do ? ' 'I think Your Majesty might at this moment leave Paris 
with greater ease than ever ; because the events of yesterday but 
too clearly prove that your life is not safe in the capital.' ' Oh ! 
I will not fly a second time ; I suffered too much before.' ' I am of 
opinion, too, that Your Majesty should not think of it, at least at 
this moment ; but it seems to me that existing circumstances, and 
the general indignation which the affair of yesterday appears to 
have excited, present the King with the most favourable oppor- 
tunity that can possibly offer for leaving Paris publicly, and with- 
out any opposition, not only with the consent of the great majority 
of the citizens, but with their approbation. I ask Your Majesty's 
permission to reflect upon this step, and to give you my ideas upon 
the mode and means of executing it.' ' Do so ; but it is a more 
difficult matter than you imagine.' " — Note by the Editor. 

1 These distressing scenes were often renewed. There is 
nothing in history to which the misfortunes of Marie Antoinette 
can be compared, but those of Henrietta of France, the daughter 
of Henry IV., wife of Charles I., and mother of Charles II. Like 
Henrietta, she was accused of having exercised too much control 
over the King's mind. Like her she was haunted by continual 
fears for the lives of her husband and her children. They were 
both most deeply afflicted ; but she had not, like Henrietta, the 
consolation, after protracted misfortunes, of seeing her family 
reascend the throne. The tragic and deplorable end of Mary 
Stuart awaited her who had experienced all the griefs of Henrietta 
of France. — Note by the Editor. 


I had prepared a corset for her, for the same purpose 
as the King's under-waistcoat, without her knowledge, 
but she would not make use of it ; all my entreaties, 
all my tears, were in vain. " If the rebels assassinate 
me,'' she replied, " it will be a fortunate event for me ; 
they will deliver me from a most painful existence." 
A few days after the King had tried on his breastplate 
I met him upon a back staircase, and drew back to let 
him pass. He stopped and took my hand. I wished 
to kiss his ; he would not suffer it, but drew me towards 
him by the hand and kissed both my cheeks without 
saying a single word. This silent mark of his approba- 
tion so confused me that I should afterwards have 
confounded the remembrance of it with the dreams 
which frequently brought my unhappy Sovereigns 
again before me, if my sisters had not reminded me 
that I had communicated this proof of the King's 
goodness to them shortly after he had given it. 

The fear of another attack upon the Tuileries 
occasioned the most scrupulous searches among the 
King's papers. I burnt almost all those belonging 
to the Queen. She put her family letters, a great 
deal of correspondence which she thought it necessary 
to preserve for the history of the era of the Revolution, 
and particularly Barnave's letters and her answers, of 
which she had preserved copies, into a portfolio, which 

she entrusted to M. de J . That gentleman was 

unable to save this deposit, and it was burnt. The 
Queen left a few papers in her secretaire. Among 
them was a paper of instructions to Madame deTourzel, 
respecting the dispositions of her children, and the 
characters and abilities of the governesses under that 


lady's orders. This paper, which the Queen drew up 
at the time of Madame de Tourzel's appointment, 
with several letters from Maria Theresa, filled with 
the best advice and the most laudable instructions, 
were printed after the ioth of August by order of the 
Assembly in the collection of papers found in the 
secretaires of the King and Queen. 

Her Majesty had still, without reckoning the cur- 
rent money of the month, 140,000 francs in gold. 
She was desirous of depositing the whole of it with 
me; but I advised her to retain 1,500 louis, as a sum 
of rather considerable amount might the next moment 
be very necessary for her. The King had an immense 
quantity of papers, and unfortunately conceived the 
idea of privately making a place of concealment in an 
inner corridor of his apartments, with the assistance 
of a locksmith who had worked with him above ten 
years. The place of concealment, but for the man's 
information, would have been long undiscovered. 1 The 
wall in which it was made was painted to imitate 
stone-work, and the opening was entirely concealed 
among the brown grooves which formed the shaded 
part of these painted stones. But even before this 
locksmith had denounced what was afterwards called 
" the iron closet " to the Assembly, the Queen was 
aware that he had talked of it to some of his friends, 

1 See Note (M) of the first volume upon the subject of this 
workman, who was named Gamin, the confidence placed in him 
by Louis XVI., and even the kind of familiarity into which that 
Prince had admitted him. It is remarkable that Soulavie him- 
self, from whom those particulars are extracted, makes use of 
the expression, the infamous Gamin, and reproaches him with the 
pension of 1,200 francs, given him by the Convention when he 
accused Louis XVI. of having wished to poison him. — Note by 
the Editor. 


and that this man, in whom the King, from long 
habit, placed too much confidence, was a Jacobin. 
She warned the King of it, and prevailed on him to 
fill a very large portfolio with all the papers he was 
most interested in preserving, and entrust it to me. 
She entreated him, in my presence, to leave nothing 
in this closet ; and the King, in order to quiet her, 
told her that he had left nothing there. I would 
have taken the portfolio and carried it to my apart- 
ment, but it was too heavy for me to lift. The King 
said he would carry it himself. I went before him to 
open the doors. When he placed the portfolio in 
my inner closet he merely said, " The Queen will tell 
you what it contains." Upon my return to the Queen 
I put the question to her, deeming from what the 
King had said that it was necessary I should know. 
"They are," the Queen answered me, "such docu- 
ments as would be most dangerous to the King should 
they go so far as to proceed to a trial against him. 
But what he most wishes me to tell you is, no doubt, 
that the portfolio contains a proces-verbal of a cabinet 
council, in which the King gave his opinion against 
war. He had it signed by all the ministers, and, in 
case of a proceeding, he trusts that this document 
will be very useful to him." I asked the Queen to 
whom she thought I ought to commit the portfolio. 
"To whom you please," answered she; "you alone are 
answerable for it. Do not quit the palace, even during 
your vacation months; there may be circumstances 
under which it would be very desirable that we should 
be able to have it instantly." 

At this period M. de la Fayette, who had probably 


given up the idea of establishing a republic in France 
similar to that of the United States, and was desirous 
to support the first Constitution, which he had sworn 
to defend, quitted his army and came to the Assembly 
for the purpose of supporting by his presence and by 
an energetic speech a petition, signed by twenty 
thousand citizens, against the late violation of the 
residence of the King and his family. The General 
found the Constitutional party powerless, and saw 
that he himself had lost his popularity. The Assembly 
disapproved of the step he had taken ; the King, for 
whom it was taken, showed no satisfaction at it, and 
he saw himself compelled to return to his army as 
quickly as he could. He thought he could rely on 
the National Guard ; but on the day of his arrival 
those officers who were in the King's interest enquired 
of His Majesty whether they were to forward the 
views of General de la Fayette by joining him in 
such measures as he should pursue during his stay 
at Paris. The King enjoined them not to do so. 
From this answer M. de la Fayette perceived that he 
was abandoned by the remainder of his party in the 
Paris Guard. 

Upon his arrival a plan was presented to the Queen 
in which it was proposed, by a junction between La 
Fayette's army and the King's party, to rescue the 
Royal Family and convey them to Rouen. I did not 
learn the particulars of this plan; the Queen only said 
to me upon the subject that "M. de la Fayette was 
offered to them as a resource, but that it would be 
better for them to perish than to owe their safety to 
the man who had done them the most mischief, or 


to place themselves under the necessity of treating 
with him." 

I passed the whole month of July without going 
to bed; I was fearful of some attack by night. There 
was one plot against the Queen's life which has 
never been made known. I was alone by her bed- 
side at one o'clock in the morning; we heard some- 
body walking softly along the corridor which passes 
along the whole line of her apartments, and which 
was then locked at each end. I went out to fetch 
the valet de chambre; he entered the corridor, and the 
Queen and myself soon heard the noise of two men 
fighting. The unfortunate Princess held me locked 
in her arms, and said to me, " What a situation ! 
insults by day and assassins by night ! " The valet 
de chambre cried out to her from the corridor, "Madam, 
I know the wretch; I have him." "Let him go," 
said the Queen ; " open the door to him ; he came 
to murder me; the Jacobins would carry him about 
in triumph to-morrow." The man was a servant of 
the King's toilette, who had taken the key of the 
corridor out of His Majesty's pocket, after he was 
in bed, no doubt with the intention of committing the 
crime suspected. The valet de chambre, who was a very 
strong man, held him by the wrists and thrust him 
out at the door. The wretch did not speak a word. 
The valet de chambre said, in answer to the Queen, who 
spoke to him gratefully of the danger to which he 
had exposed himself, that " he feared nothing, and 
that he had always a pair of excellent pistols about 
him for no other purpose than to defend Her Majesty." 

On the next day M. de Septeuil had all the locks 


of the King's inner apartments changed ; I did the 
same by those of the Queen. 

We were every moment told that the Faubourg St. 
Antoine was preparing to march against the Palace. 
At four o'clock one morning, towards the latter end of 
July, a person came to give me information to that 
effect. I instantly sent off two men on whom I could 
rely, with orders to proceed to the usual places for 
assembling and to come back speedily and give me 
an account of the state of the city. We knew that 
at least an hour must elapse before the populace of 
the faubourgs assembled upon the site of the Bastille 
could reach the Tuileries. It seemed to me sufficient 
for the Queen's safety that all about her should be 
awakened. I went softly into her room ; she was 
asleep ; I did not awaken her. I found General de 

W in the great closet ; he told me the meeting 

was for this once dispersing. The General had en- 
deavoured to please the populace by the same means 
that M. de la Fayette had employed. He saluted 
the lowest poissarde, and lowered his hat down to his 
very stirrup. But the populace, who had been flat- 
tered for three years, required far different homage 
to its power, and the poor man was unnoticed. 
The King had been awakened, and so had Madame 
Elizabeth, who had gone to him. The Queen, yielding 
to the weight of her griefs, slept till nine o'clock on 
that day, which was very unusual with her. The 
King had already been to know whether she was 
awake. I told him v/hat I had done, and the care I 
had taken not to disturb her rest. He thanked me, 
and said, " I was awake and so was the whole Palace ; 


she ran no risk. I am very glad to see her take a 
little rest. Alas! her griefs double mine!" added the 
King as he left me. What was my chagrin when, 
upon awaking and learning what had passed, the 
Queen began to weep bitterly from regret at not 
having been called, and to upbraid me, on whose 
friendship she ought to have been able to rely, for 
having served her so ill under such circumstances ! 
In vain did I reiterate that it had been only a false 
alarm, and that it was necessary for her to recruit her 
strength. " It is not diminished," said she ; " mis- 
fortune gives us additional strength. Elizabeth was 
with the King, and I was asleep ! — I who am deter- 
mined to perish by his side. I am his wife; I will not 
suffer him to incur the smallest risk without my 
sharing it." 



Madame Campari's communications with M. Bertrand de Molle- 
ville for the King's service — Hope of a speedy deliverance —The 
Queen's reflections upon the character of Louis XVI. — Insults — 
Enquiry set on foot by the Princess de Lamballe respecting the 
persons of the Queen's household — The Tenth of August — 
Curious particulars — Battle — Scenes of carnage — The Royal 
Family at the Feuillans. 

During the month of July the correspondence of 
M. Bertrand de Molleville with the King and Queen 
was most active. M. de Marsilly, formerly a lieu- 
tenant of the Cent Suisses of the Guard, was the bearer 
of the letters. 1 He came to me the first time with a 
note from the Queen directed to M. Bertrand himself. 
In this note the Queen said : " Address yourself with 
full confidence to Madame Campan ; the conduct of 
her brother in Russia has not at all influenced her 

1 Bertrand de Molleville thus relates the measures adopted for 
his communications with the Queen and Louis XVI. : 

" I received by night only the King's answer, written with his 
own hand in the margin of my letter. Such was the usual form of 
my correspondence with him. I always sent him back with the 
day's letter that to which he had replied the day before ; so that 
my letters and his answers, of which I contented myself with 
taking notes only, never remained with me twenty-four hours. I 
proposed this arrangement to His Majesty to remove all uneasiness 
from his mind ; my letters were generally delivered to the King or 
the Queen by M. de Marsilly, captain of the King's Guard, whose 
attachment and fidelity were known to Their Majesties. I also 
sometimes employed M. Bernard de Marigny, who had left Brest, 
entirely for the purpose of facing the dangers which threatened 
the King, and sharing with all His Majesty's faithful servants 
the honour of forming a rampart round him with their bodies." 
(" Private Memoirs," vol. ii., page 12.) — Note by the Editor. 


sentiments ; she is wholly devoted to us ; and if here- 
after you should have anything to say to us verbally, 
you may rely entirely upon her self-devotion and dis- 

The mobs which gathered almost nightly in the 
faubourgs alarmed the Queen's friends ; they entreated 
her not to sleep in her room on the ground floor of 
the Tuileries. She removed to the first floor, to a 
room which was between the King's apartments and 
those of the Dauphin. Being awake always from day- 
break, she ordered that neither the shutters nor the 
window blinds should be closed, that her long, sleep- 
less nights might be the less weary. About the 
middle of one of these nights, when the moon was 
shining into her bed-chamber, she gazed at it, and 
told me that in a month she should not see that 
moon, unless freed from her chains and beholding 
the King at liberty. She then imparted to me all 
that was being done to deliver them, but said that the 
opinions of their intimate advisers were alarmingly at 
variance — that some vouched for complete success, 
while others pointed out. insurmountable dangers. 
She added that she possessed the itinerary of the 
march of the Princes and the King of Prussia ; that 
on such a day they would be at Verdun ; on another 
day at such a place ; that Lisle was about to be be- 
sieged, but that M. de J , whose prudence and 

intelligence the King as well as herself highly valued, 
alarmed them much respecting the success of that 
siege, and made them apprehensive that, even were 
the commandant devoted to them, the civil authority, 
which by the Constitution gave great power to the 
vol. 11 13 


mayors of towns, would overrule the military com- 
mandant. She was also very uneasy as to what 
would take place at Paris during the interval, and 
spoke to me upon the King's want of energy, but 
always in terms expressive of her veneration of his 
virtues and her attachment to himself. " The King," 
said she, "is not a coward; he possesses abundance of 
passive courage, but he is overwhelmed by an awk- 
ward shyness, a distrust of himself, which proceeds 
from his education as much as from his disposition. 
He is afraid to command, and above all things dreads 
speaking to assembled numbers. He lived like a child, 
and always ill at ease, under the eyes of Louis XV., 
until the age of twenty-one. This constraint confirmed 
his timidity. 1 Circumstanced as we are, a few well- 

i The following extract points out the causes to which the 
extreme timidity of Louis XVI. is to be attributed, and in what 
circumstances he succeeded in overcoming it. It adds also some 
interesting and faithful particulars to those we have already col- 
lected respecting the disposition, qualifications and mind of that 

" One of the most remarkable features of the King's character 
and of the nature of his mind was that his natural timidity and 
the difficulty which he generally felt in expressing himself were 
never perceptible when religion, the relief of the people or the 
welfare of the French were the subjects in question ; he would then 
speak with a facility and an energy which astonished new ministers 
in particular, who almost invariably came at first to the Council 
possessed with the generally received opinion that the King had 
a very limited intellect. I do not mean to say that Louis XVI. 
was a genius ; but I am convinced that if he had received a different 
education and his abilities had been cultivated and exercised, he 
would have been taught to do himself credit by them ; he would have 
shown as much talent as those Princes who have had the reputation 
of possessing the most. This, however, is certain, that we saw him 
daily, and with the greatest ease, do a thing which is considered an 
exploit for people who have the greatest talent, and which it is 
impossible to perform without talent, and that is to read a letter, a 
newspaper, or a memorial, and at the same time to listen to the 
relation of some affair, and yet to understand both perfectly well. 
The King's constant practice was to come to the Council with the 


delivered words addressed to the Parisians, who are 
devoted to him, would multiply the strength of our 
party a hundredfold. He will not utter them. What 
can we expect from those addresses to the people which 
he has been advised to post up ? Nothing but fresh 
outrages. As for myself, I could do anything, and 
would appear on horseback if necessary. But if I 
were really to begin to act, that would be furnishing 
arms to the King's enemies ; the cry against the 
Austrian and against the sway of a female would 
become general in France, and moreover, by showing 
myself, I should render the King a mere cipher. A 
Queen who is not Regent ought, under these circum- 
stances, to remain passive and prepare to die." 

The garden of the Tuileries was filled with a mob, 
who insulted all who seemed to side with the Court. 

Journal du Soir, and the letters or memorials which had been pre- 
sented to him during the day, in his hand. He spent the first half- 
hour of each sitting in reading them, handed the memorials which 
required attention to the proper ministers, lighted the others 
and the newspaper at the taper next to him, and threw them 
in flames upon the floor. During all this time the ministers 
reported the business of their respective departments, and the King 
understood them so well that in an affair of some delicacy, reported 
while he was reading by M. Cahier de Gerville, and adjourned for a 
week for consideration, His Majesty astonished us upon the second 
report of the same affair by the exactness with which he fixed upon 
the omission of a fact extremely important to the decision, and 
which M. Cahier de Gerville no longer remembered. True it is that 
none of us could cope with the King in point of memory — I never 
knew one so true. His judgment was not less sound, not only 
in business, but in the composition of proclamations or of letters or 
speeches addressed to the Assembly. In fact, I can bear witness 
that all the important documents of that nature which appeared 
during my administration were submitted to the King's examination 
in particular, after having been discussed and frequently settled at 
the committee of the ministers, and that there are few of them 
in which His Majesty did not make some corrections which were 
perfectly proper." (" Memoirs by Bertrand de Molleville," vol. i.) 
— Note by the Editor. 



The " Life of Marie Antoinette " was cried under the 
Queen's windows ; infamous plates were annexed to 
the book, which hawkers showed to the passers-by. 1 
On all sides were heard the jubilant outcries of a people 
in a state of delirium almost as frightful as the ex- 
plosion of their rage. The Queen and her children 
being unable to breathe the open air any longer, it 
was determined that the garden of the Tuileries should 
be closed. As soon as this step was taken the As- 
sembly decreed that the whole length of the terrace 
of the Tuileries belonged to it, and fixed the boundary 
between what was called the "National ground" and 
the " Coblentz ground " by a tricoloured ribbon 
stretched from one end of the terrace to the other. 
All good citizens were ordered, by notices affixed to 
it, not to go down into the garden, under pain of 
being treated in the same manner as Foulon and 
Berthier. 2 The shutting-up of the Tuileries did not 
enable the Queen and her children to walk in the 
garden. The people on the terrace sent forth dreadful 

i The Editor who pens these notes has seen these obscene 
engravings and read these detestable pamphlets. He has expressed 
the impression of sorrow and disgust he retains respecting them 
in the Biographical Notice. What he has to add here, and which 
gives rise to a painful degree of astonishment, is that among these 
writings, and particularly among the verses, are to be found some 
which bespeak a very considerable extent of talent ; some passages 
recall the force of Rousseau's epigrams and the libertine point of 
Piron. What a scandalous and criminal abuse of endowments of 
mind ! — Note by the Editor. 

2 A young man who did not perceive this written order went 
down into the garden. Furious outcries, threats of " La lanterne," 
and the crowd of people which collected upon the terrace, warned 
him of his imprudence and the danger which he ran. He imme- 
diately pulled off his shoes, took out his handkerchief and wiped the 
dust from off their soles. The people cried out, " Bravo ! the good 
citizen for ever!" He was carried off in triumph. — Note by 
Madame Cam pan. 


howls, and she was twice compelled to return to her 

In the early part of August many zealous persons 
offered the King money. He refused considerable 
sums, being unwilling to injure the fortunes of indi- 
viduals. M. de la Ferte, Intendant of the Menus 
Plaisirs, brought me a thousand louis, requesting me 
to lay them at the feet of the Queen. He thought 
she could not have too much money at so perilous 
a time, and that every good Frenchman should hasten 
to place all his ready money in her hands. She re- 
fused this sum, and others of much greater amount 
which were offered to her. 1 However, a few days 
afterwards she told me that she would accept of M. 
de la Ferte's 24,000 francs, because they would make 
up a sum which the King had to expend. She there- 
fore directed me to go and receive those 24,000 francs, 
to add them to the 100,000 francs she had placed in 
my hands, and to change the whole into assignats to 
increase their amount. Her orders were executed and 
the assignats were delivered to the King. The Queen 
informed me that Madame. Elizabeth had found a well- 
meaning man, who had engaged to gain over Petion 
by the bribe of a large sum of money, and that that 
deputy would, by a preconcerted signal, inform the 
King of the success of the project. His Majesty 
soon had an opportunity of seeing Petion, and on 

1 M. Auguie, my brother-in-law, Receiver-General of the 
Finances, offered her, through the medium of his wife, a portfolio 
containing 100,000 crowns in paper money. On this occasion the 
Queen said the most affecting things to my sister expressive of her 
happiness at having contributed to the fortunes of such faithful 
subjects as herself and her husband, but declined accepting her 
offer. — Note by Madame Campan. 


the Queen asking him before me if he was satisfied 
with him, the King replied : " Neither more nor less 
satisfied than usual ; he did not make the concerted 
signal, and I believe I have been cheated." The 
Queen then condescended to explain the whole of the 
enigma to me. " Petion," said she, "was, while talk- 
ing to the King, to have kept his finger fixed upon 
his right eye for at least two seconds." " He did 
not even put his hand up to his chin," said the King. 
" After all, it is but so much money stolen ; the thief 
will not boast of it, and the affair will remain a secret. 
Let us talk of something else." He turned to me 
and said, " Your father was an intimate friend of 
Mandat, who now commands the National Guard. 
Describe him to me ; what ought I to expect from 
him ? " I answered that he was one of the most 
faithful subjects of His Majesty, but that, while he 
possessed a great deal of loyalty, he had likewise 
very little sense, and that he was involved in the 
constitutional vortex. "I understand," said the King; 
"he is a man who would defend my palace and my 
person because that is enjoined by the Constitution 
which he has sworn to support, but who would fight 
against the party in favour of Sovereign authority; it 
is well to know this with certainty." 

On the next day the Princess de Lamballe sent 
for me very early in the morning. I found her sitting 
upon a sofa opposite to a window looking out upon 
the Pont-Royal. She then occupied that apartment 
of the Pavilion of Flora which was on a level with 
that of the Queen. She desired me to sit down by 
her. Her Highness had a writing-desk upon her 


knees. " You have had many enemies," said she. 
" Attempts have been made to deprive you of the 
Queen's favour ; they have been far from successful. 
Do you know that even I myself, not being so well 
acquainted with you as the Queen, was rendered 
suspicious of you, and that upon the arrival of the 
Court at the Tuileries I gave you a companion to be 
a spy upon you, 1 and that I had another belonging 
to the police placed at your door! I was assured 
that you received five or six of the most virulent 
deputies of the Tiers Etat, but this report came from 
that woman belonging to the wardrobe who was 
lodged above you. In short," said the Princess, 
" persons of integrity have nothing to fear from the 
evil-disposed when they belong to so upright a Prince 
as the King. As to the Queen, she knows you and 
has loved you ever since she came into France. You 
shall judge of the King's opinion of you. It was 
yesterday evening decided in the family circle that, 
at a time when the Tuileries is likely to be attacked, 
it was necessary to have the most faithful account of 
the opinions and conduct of all the individuals com- 
posing the Queen's service. The King takes the 
same precaution on his part respecting all who are 
about him. He said there was with him a person of 
great integrity to whom he would commit this enquiry, 
and that with regard to the Queen's household you 

1 This was M. de P , who afterwards owned it to me, 

telling me that, though he did accept of this base employment, 
it was because he was sure that my acquaintance consisted only 
of Royalists, and that, moreover, he did not doubt the sincerity 
of my sentiments. — Note by Madame Campan. 


must be spoken to ; that he had long studied your 
character, and that he esteemed your veracity." 

The Princess had the names of all who belonged 
to the Queen's chamber upon her desk. She asked 
me for information respecting each individual. At 
such a moment honour and duty efface even the 
recollection of enmity. I was fortunate in having 
none but the most favourable information to give. I 
had to speak of my avowed enemy in the Queen's 
chamber, of her who most wished to make me re- 
sponsible for my brother's political opinions. The 
Princess, as the head of the chamber, could not be 
ignorant of this circumstance, but as the woman in 
question, who idolised the King and Queen, would 
not have hesitated to sacrifice her life in order to 
save theirs, and as possibly her attachment to them, 
united to considerable narrowness of intellect and a 
limited education, contributed to her jealousy of me, I 
spoke of her in the highest terms. 

The Princess wrote as I dictated, and occasionally 
looked at me with astonishment. When I had done 
I entreated Her Highness to write down in the 
margin that the lady alluded to was my declared 
enemy. She embraced me, saying, " Ah ! write it ! 
we should not record an injustice which ought to be 
forgotten." We came to the name of a man of genius, 
who was much attached to the Queen. I described him 
as a man born solely for disputation, showing him- 
self, out of a mere spirit of contradiction, an aristocrat 
with democrats and a democrat among aristocrats, 
but still a man of probity and well affected to his 
Sovereign. The Princess said she knew many persons 


of that disposition, and that she was delighted I had 
nothing to say against this man, because she herself 
had placed him about the Queen. 

The whole of Her Majesty's chamber, which 
consisted entirely of persons of fidelity, gave through- 
out all the dreadful convulsions of the Revolution 
proofs of the greatest prudence and the most ab- 
solute self-devotion. The same cannot be said of 
the ante-chambers. With the exception of three or 
four, all the servants of that class were outrageous 
Jacobins; and I saw on those occasions the necessity 
of composing the private household of Princes of 
persons completely separated from the class of the 

The situation of the Royal Family was so unbear- 
able during the months which immediately preceded 
the ioth of August that the Queen longed for the 
coming of the crisis whatever might be its issue. She 
frequently said that a long confinement in a tower by 
the seaside would seem to her less intolerable than 
those feuds in which the weakness of her party daily 
threatened an inevitable catastrophe. 1 

Not only were Their Majesties prevented from 
breathing the open air, but they were also insulted at 
the very foot of the altar. The Sunday before the 

i A few days before the ioth of August the squabbles between 
the Royalists and Jacobins, and between the Jacobins and the 
Constitutionals, increased in warmth ; among the latter, those men 
who defended the principles they professed with the greatest talent, 
courage and constancy were at the same time the most exposed to 
danger. Montjoie relates the following anecdote : 

" The question of abdication was discussed with a degree of 
frenzy in the Assembly. Such of the deputies as voted against that 
scandalous discussion were abused, ill-treated and surrounded by 
assassins. They had a battle to fight at every step they took ; and 


last day of the monarchy, while the Royal Family 
went through the gallery to the chapel, half the 
soldiers of the National Guard exclaimed, " Long 
live the King ! " and the other half, " No ! no King ! 
down with the veto ! " and on that day, at vespers, 
the choristers preconcerted to increase the loudness 
of their voices threefold, in an alarming manner, when 
they chanted the words, " Deposuit potentes de sede," 
in the Magnificat. Incensed at such an infamous pro- 
ceeding, the Royalists, in their turn, thrice exclaimed, 
" Et reginam " after the " Domine salvum fac regem." 
The tumult during the whole time of Divine service 
was excessive. 

At length arrived that terrible night of the ioth 
of August. On the preceding evening Petion went 
to the Assembly and informed it that preparations 
were making for a great insurrection on the following 
day ; that the tocsin would sound at midnight ; and 
that he feared he had not sufficient means for resisting 
the attack which was about to take place. Upon this 
information the Assembly passed to the order of the 
day. Petion, however, gave an order for repelling 
force by force. M. Mandat was armed with this 
order, and, finding his fidelity to the King's person 
supported by what he considered the law of the State, 
he conducted himself, in all his operations, with the 

at length they did not dare to sleep in their own houses. Of this 
number were Regnault de Beaucaron, Frondiere, Girardin and 

" Girardin complained of having been struck in one of the 
lobbies of the Assembly ; a voice cried out to him, ' Say where 
you were struck ? ' ' Where ? ' replied Girardin ; ' what a question ! 
Behind. Do assassins ever strike otherwise ?' " ("History of Marie 
Antoinette.") — Note by the Editor. 


greatest energy. On the evening of the 9th I was 
present at the King's supper. While His Majesty- 
was giving me various orders we heard a great noise 
at the door of the apartment. I went to see what 
was the cause of it, and I found the two sentinels 
fighting. One said, speaking of the King, that he 
was hearty in the cause of the Constitution, and 
would defend it at the peril of his life ; the other 
maintained that he was an incumbrance to the only 
Constitution suitable to a free people. They were near 
destroying each other. I returned with a countenance 
which betrayed my emotion. The King desired to 
know what was going forward at his door : I could 
not conceal it from him. The Queen said she was 
not at all surprised at it, and that more than half the 
guard belonged to the Jacobin party. 

The tocsin sounded at midnight. The Swiss were 
drawn up like real walls ; and, in the midst of their 
soldier-like silence, which formed a striking contrast 
to the perpetual din of the town guard, the King 

informed M. de J , an officer of the staff, of the 

plan of defence laid down by General Viomenil. M. 

de J said to me, after this private conference, " Put 

your jewels and money into your pockets. Our dangers 
are unavoidable ; the means of defence are unavailing ; 
safety might be obtained from some degree of energy 
in the King, but that is the only virtue in which he is 

An hour after midnight the Queen and Madame 
Elizabeth said they would lie down on a sofa in a 
closet in the entresols, the windows of which com- 
manded the courtyard of the Tuileries. 


The Queen told me the King had just refused to 
put on his quilted under-waistcoat ; that he had con- 
sented to wear it on the 14th of July because he was 
merely going to a ceremony, where the blade of an 
assassin was to be apprehended; but that on a day 
on which his party might fight against the revolu- 
tionists he thought there was something cowardly in 
preserving his life by such means. 

During this time Madame Elizabeth disengaged 
herself of some of her clothing which encumbered 
her in order to lie down on the sofa : she took a 
cornelian pin out of her tippet, and before she laid it 
down on the table she showed it to me, and desired 
me to read a motto engraved upon it round a stalk 
of lilies. The words were, " Oblivion of injuries — pardon 
for offences." " I much fear," added that virtuous 
Princess, "that this maxim has but little influence 
among our enemies ; but it ought not to be less dear 
to us on that account." 1 

The Queen desired me to sit down by her. The 
two Princesses could not sleep; they were conversing 
mournfully upon their situation when a musket was 

1 The Princess did not take this precious trinket when she 
quitted the Queen's entresol. Into what hands did it fall? It 
would adorn the richest treasury. 

The exalted piety of Madame Elizabeth gave to all she said 
and did a noble character, descriptive of that of her soul. On the 
day on which this worthy descendant of St. Louis was sacrificed, 
the executioner, in tying her hands behind her back, raised up one 
of the ends of her handkerchief in front. Madame Elizabeth, 
with calmness, and with a voice which seemed not to belong to 
earth, said to him, "In the name of modesty, cover my bosom." 
I learned this trait of heroism from Madame de Serilly, who was 
condemned the same day as the Princess, but who obtained a 
respite at the moment of the execution, Madame de Montmorin, 
her relation, declaring that her cousin was pregnant. — Note by 
Madame Campan. 


discharged in the courtyard. They both quitted the 
sofa, saying, "There is the first shot; unfortunately 
it will not be the last. Let us go up to the King." 
The Queen desired me to follow her; several of her 
women went with me. 

At four o'clock the Queen came out of the King's 
chamber and told us she had no longer any hope, that 
M. Mandat, who had gone to the Hotel de Ville to 
receive further orders, had just been assassinated, and 
that the people were at that time carrying his head 
about the streets. Day came ; the King, the Queen, 
Madame Elizabeth, Madame and the Dauphin went 
down to pass through the ranks of the sections of the 
National Guard: the cry of "Vive le Roi!" was heard 
from a few places. I was at a window on the garden 
side ; I saw some of the gunners quit their posts, 
go up to the King and thrust their fists in his face, 
insulting him by the most brutal language. MM. de 
Salvert and M. de Bridges drove them off in a spirited 
manner. The King was as pale as a corpse. The 
Royal Family came in again ; the Queen told me that 
all was lost; that the King had shown no energy, 
and that this sort of review had done more harm 
than good. 1 

1 Montjoie, in his "History of Marie Antoinette," gives an 
account of the affair of the Chateau, which he says was furnished 
by an eye-witness. The narrator thus expresses himself : 

"M. Mandat being gone, the command devolved on M. de la 

" I then perceived a considerable degree of bustle in the interior 
of the castle. 

' ' The National Guard and the Swiss Guards being called 
to their posts, all went to them in the greatest order. The interior 
of the apartments, the staircases and vestibules were occupied by 
soldiers ; the posts of the courtyards were distributed, and cannon 


I was in the billiard -room with my companions; 
we placed ourselves upon some high benches. I then 
saw M. d'Hervilly, with a drawn sword in his hand, 
ordering the usher to open the door to the French 
noblesse. Two hundred persons entered the room 
which was nearest to that in which the family were; 
others also drew up in two lines in the preceding 
rooms. I saw a few people belonging to the Court, 
many others whose features were unknown to me, and 
a few who figured ridiculously enough among what was 
called the noblesse, but whose self-devotion ennobled 
them at once. They were all so badly armed that 
even in that situation the French vivacity, which 
yields to nothing, indulged in jests upon that which 
was no jesting matter. M. de Saint-Souplet, one of 
the King's equerries, and a page, instead of muskets, 
carried upon their shoulders the tongs belonging to 
the King's ante-chamber, which they had broken and 
divided between them. Another page, who had a 
pocket-pistol in his hand, stuck the end of it against 
the back of the person who stood before him, and 
who begged he would be good enough to rest it 
elsewhere. A sword and a pair of pistols were 
the only arms of those who had had the precaution 
to provide themselves with arms at all. Meanwhile 

were brought from different parts of the great court. All these 
preparations announced the most terrible resolves ; they seemed to 
express a determination to offer a vigorous resistance. I turned my 
eyes away and lamented first the manner and then the inefficiency 
of the means employed ; the manner, because I saw a scene of 
bloodshed and murders without number in preparation ; the in- 
efficiency, because, in spite of the wild and criminal scheme of 
an unavailing resistance, I was convinced beforehand that there 
was no fence strong enough to stem the impetuous torrent." — 
Note by the Editor. 


the numerous bands from the faubourgs, armed with 
pikes and cutlasses, filled the Carrousel and the 
streets adjacent to the Tuileries. The sanguinary 
Marseillais were at their head, with cannon pointed 
against the castle. In this emergency the King's 
council sent M. Dejoly, the Minister of Justice, to the 
Assembly to request they would send the King a 
deputation which might serve as a safeguard to the 
executive power. Its ruin was resolved on — they 
passed to the order of the day. At eight o'clock the 
department repaired to the castle ; the procureur -syndic, 
seeing that the guard within was ready to join the 
assailants, went into the King's closet and requested 
to speak to him in private. The King received him 
in his chamber ; the Queen was with him. There 
M. Rcederer told him that the King, all his family 
and the people about them would inevitably fall unless 
His Majesty immediately determined to go to the 
National Assembly. The Queen at first opposed this 
advice ; but the procureur -syndic told her that she ren- 
dered herself responsible for the deaths of the King, 
her children and all who were in the palace ; upon 
this she no longer objected. The King then consented 
to go to the Assembly. As he set out he said to the 
minister and persons who surrounded him, " Come, 
gentlemen, there is nothing more to be done here." 1 

1 The informant cited by Montjoie thus relates the efforts 
made by M. Roederer with the people and the National Guard, 
and the conversation he afterwards had with the King in his 
closet. This account of the 10th of August contains also several 
other important particulars ; but we refer them all to the Historical 
Illustrations (K), not to interrupt Madame Cam pan's narrative. 

" M. Roederer, it must be said to his praise, tried all means. 
At last, being unable to subdue the fury of the people, he calmed it 


The Queen said to me as she left the King's chamber, 
" Wait in my apartments ; I will come to you, or I 
will send for you, to go — I know not whither." She 
took with her only the Princess de Lamballe and 
Madame de Tourzel. The Princess de Tarente and 
Madame de la Roche-Aymon were inconsolable at being 
left at the Tuileries. They, and all who belonged to 
the chamber, went down into the Queen's apartments. 

We saw the Royal Family pass between two lines 
formed by the Swiss grenadiers and those of the bat- 
talions of the Petits Peres and the Filles Saint Thomas. 
They were so pressed upon by the crowd that during 
that short passage the Queen was robbed of her watch 

for a few minutes ; they granted him half an hour, and the deposi- 
taries of the law instantly returned into the castle-yard. 

" Here they met with obstacles of another kind ; the National 
Guard seemed perfectly resolute and well disposed. 

" M. Rcederer called their attention to the extent of the danger ; 
he made them promise to remain firm at their posts ; he exhorted 
them not to attack their fellow citizens, their brethren, as long as 
they should remain inactive ; but he foresaw the approaching 
moment when the Chateau would be attacked. He explained to 
them the principles of the lawful defence, and made the requisition 
prescribed by the law of the month of May, 1791, relative to the 
public force. The National Guard, however, remained silent, and 
the gunners discharged their cannon. 

"What could the authorities of the department then do ? They 
joined the King's ministers, and all with one consent conjured 
him to save himself with his family and take refuge in the bosom 
of the National Assembly. ' There only, Sire,' said M. Roederer, 
' in the midst of the representatives of the people, can Your Majesty, 
the Queen and the Royal Family be in safety. Come, let us fly ; 
in another quarter of an hour, perhaps, we shall not be able to 
command a retreat.' 

" The King hesitated ; the Queen manifested the highest dis- 
satisfaction. ' What ! ' said she ; ' are we alone ; is there nobody 
who can act— — ? ' ' Yes, madam, alone ; action is useless — 
resistance is impossible.' One of the members of the department, 
M. Gerdret, resolved to add his voice ; he insisted upon the prompt 
execution of the proposed measure. ' Silence ! sir,' said the Queen 
to him ; ' silence ! you are the only person who ought to be silent 
here. When the mischief is done, those who did it should not 
pretend to wish to remedy it.' " — Note by the Editor. 


and purse. A man of frightful height and atrocious 
appearance — one of such as were to be seen at the 
head of all the insurrections — drew near the Dauphin, 
whom the Queen was leading by the hand, and took 
him up in his arms. The Queen uttered a scream 
of terror, and was ready to faint. The man said to 
her, "Don't be frightened; I will do him no harm"; 
and he gave him back to her at the entrance of the 

I leave to history all the details of that too memor- 
able day, confining myself to retracing a few of the 
frightful scenes enacted in the interior of the Tuileries 
after the King had quitted the palace. 

The assailants did not know that the King and 
his family had betaken themselves to the bosom of 
the Assembly ; and those who defended the palace 
on the court side were equally ignorant of it. It is 
supposed that if they had been aware of the fact the 
siege would never have taken place. 

The Marseillais began by driving from their posts 
several Swiss, who yielded without resistance. A 
few of the assailants fired upon them. Some of the 
Swiss officers, unable to contain themselves at seeing 
their men fall thus, and perhaps thinking the King 
was still at the Tuileries, gave the word to a whole 
battalion to fire. The aggressors were thrown into 
disorder, and the Carrousel was cleared in a moment ; 
but they soon returned, spurred on by rage and 
revenge. The Swiss were but 800 strong ; they fell 
back into the interior of the castle. Some of the 
doors were battered in by the guns, others broken 
through with hatchets ; the populace rushed from all 
vol. 11 14 


quarters into the interior of the palace ; almost all 
the Swiss were massacred. The Nobles, flying through 
the gallery which leads to the Louvre, were either 
stabbed or pistolled, and the bodies were thrown out 
of the windows. M. Pallas and M. de Marchais, 
ushers of the King's chamber, were killed in defend- 
ing the door of the council chamber ; many others of 
the King's servants fell, victims of their attachment 
to their master. I mention these two persons in par- 
ticular because, with their hats pulled over their 
brows and their swords in their hands, they ex- 
claimed, as they defended themselves with unavailing 
but praiseworthy courage : " We will not survive. 
This is our post — our duty is to die at it." M. Diet 
acted in the same manner at the door of the Queen's 
bed-chamber ; he experienced the same fate. The 
Princess de Tarente had fortunately opened the door 
of the entrance into the apartments, otherwise the 
dreadful band, seeing several women collected in the 
Queen's saloon, would have fancied she was among 
us, and would immediately have massacred us if 
their rage had been increased by resistance. How- 
ever, we were all about to perish, when a man with 
a long beard came up, exclaiming, in the name 
of Petion, " Spare the women ! don't disgrace the 
nation ! " A particular circumstance placed me in 
greater danger than the others. In my confusion I 
imagined, a moment before the assailants entered the 
Queen's apartments, that my sister was not among 
the group of women collected there, and I went up 
into an entresol, where I supposed she had taken 
refuge, to induce her to come down, fancying it of 


consequence to our safety that we should not be 
separated. I did not find her in the room in ques- 
tion ; I saw there only our two femmes de chambre 
and one of the Queen's two heydukes — a man of great 
height and a perfectly military aspect. I cried out 
to him, " Fly ! the footmen and our people are 
already safe." " I cannot," said the man to me ; " I 
am dying of fear." As he spoke, I heard a number 
of men rushing hastily up the staircase. They threw 
themselves upon him, and I saw him assassinated. 
I ran towards the staircase, followed by our women. 
The murderers left the heyduke to come to me. The 
women threw themselves at their feet and held their 
sabres. The narrowness of the staircase impeded 
the assassins, but I had already felt a horrid hand 
thrust down my back to seize me by my clothes, 
when someone called out from the bottom of the 
staircase, " What are you doing up there ? " The 
terrible Marseillais who was going to massacre 
me answered by a "Heu!" the sound of which 
will never escape my memory. The other voice 
replied with these words, ." We don't kill women." 

I was on my knees. My executioner quitted his 
hold of me, and said, " Get up, you jade ; the 
nation pardons you." 

' The brutality of these words did not prevent me 
from suddenly experiencing an indescribable feeling, 
which partook almost equally of the love of life 
and the idea that I was going to see my son and 
all that was dear to me again. A moment before 
I had thought less of death than of the pain which 
the steel suspended over my head would occasion 

14 — 2 


me. Death is seldom seen so close without striking 
his blow. I can assert that upon such an occasion 
the organs, unless fainting ensues, are in full 
activity, and that I heard every syllable uttered by 
the assassins just as if I had been calm. 

Five or six men seized me and my women, and 
having made us get upon benches placed before the 
windows, ordered us to call out, " The nation for 
ever ! " 

I passed over several corpses. I recognised that . 
of the old Viscount de Broves, to whom the Queen 
had sent me, at the beginning of the night, to 
desire him and another old gentleman in her name 
to go home. These brave men desired I would 
tell Her Majesty that they had but too strictly obeyed 
the King's orders in all circumstances under which 
they ought to have exposed their own lives in 
order to preserve his, and that for this once they 
would not obey, but would cherish the recollection 
of the Queen's goodness. 

Near the grille, on the side next the bridge, 
the men who conducted me asked whither I wished 
to go. Upon my asking in my turn whether they 
were at liberty to take me wherever I wished to 
go, one of them, who was a Marseillais, asked me, 
giving me at the same time a push with the butt 
end of his musket, whether I still doubted the 
power of the people ? I answered " No," and I 
mentioned the number of my father-in-law's house. 
I saw my sister ascending the steps of the parapet 
of the bridge, surrounded by men of the National 
Guard. I called to her, and she turned round. 


" Would you have her go with you ? " said my 
guardian to me. I told him I did wish it ; they 
then called to the people who were leading my sister 
to prison, and she joined me. 

Madame de la Roche-Aymon and her daughter, 
Mademoiselle Pauline de Tourzel, Madame de Gines- 
toux, lady to the Princess de Lamballe, the other 
women of the Queen, and the old Count d'Affry, were 
led off together to the prisons of the Abbaye. 

Our progress from the Palace of the Tuileries 
to my sister's house was most distressing. We saw 
several Swiss pursued and killed, and musket shots 
were crossing each other in all directions. We passed 
under the walls of the gallery of the Louvre ; they 
were firing from the parapet into the windows of 
the gallery, to hit the " Knights of the dagger," for 
thus did the populace designate those faithful sub- 
jects who had assembled at the Tuileries to defend 
the King. 

The brigands broke some vessels of water in the 
Queen's first ante-chamber ; the mixture of blood and 
water stained the bottoms of our white gowns. The 
poissavdes screamed after us in the streets that we 
were attached to " the Austrian." Our protectors 
then showed some consideration for us, and made 
us go up a gateway to pull off our gowns ; but 
our petticoats being too short and making us look 
like persons in disguise, other poissavdes began to 
bawl out that we were young Swiss dressed up like 
women. We then saw a tribe of female cannibals 
enter the street carrying the head of poor Mandat. 
Our guards hurriedly made us enter a little wine- 


shop, called for some wine, and desired us to drink 
with them. They assured the landlady that we were 
their sisters and good patriots. Happily the Mar- 
seillais had quitted us to return to the Tuileries. 
One of the men who remained with us said to me 
in an undertone, " I am a gauze-worker in the 
faubourg ; I was forced to march ; I am not for 
all this. I have not killed anybody, and have 
rescued you. You ran a great risk when we met 
the mad women who are carrying Mandat's head. 
These horrible women said yesterday, at midnight, 
upon the site of the Bastille, that they must have 
their revenge for the 6th of October at Versailles, and 
that they had sworn to kill the Queen and all the 
women attached to her. The danger of the action 
saved you all." 

As I crossed the Carrousel I saw my house in 
flames ; but as soon as the first moment of affright 
was over I thought no more of my personal misfor- 
tunes. My ideas turned solely upon the dreadful 
situation of the Queen. 

On reaching my sister's we found all our family in 
despair, believing they should never see us again. I 
could not remain at her house ; some of the mob 
around the door exclaimed that Marie Antoinette's 
confidante was in the house, and that they must have 
her head. I disguised myself, and was concealed at 
the house of M. Morel, secretary for the lotteries. 
On the morrow I was enquired for there in the name 
of the Queen. A deputy, whose sentiments were 
known to her, took upon himself to find me out. 
' I borrowed clothes and went with my sister to 


the Feuillans. We got there at the same time with 
M. Thierry de Ville-d'Avry, the King's first valet de 
chambre. We were taken into an office, where we 
wrote down our names and places of abode, and we 
received tickets for admission into the rooms belong- 
ing to Camus, the Keeper of the Archives, where the 
King was with his family. 

As we entered the first room a person who was 
there said to me, " Ah ! you are a good creature ; but 
where is that Thierry 1 — that man loaded with his 
master's bounties ? " " He is here," said I ; "he is 
following me ; and I perceive that even scenes of 
death do not banish jealous feelings from among you." 
Having belonged to the Court from my earliest 
youth, I was known to many persons whom I did 
not know. As I traversed a corridor above the 
cloisters which led to the cells inhabited by the un- 
fortunate Louis XVI. and his family, several of the 
grenadiers spoke to me, calling me by my name. 
One of them said to me, " Well ! the poor King is 
lost ! The Count d'Artois would have managed it 
better." " Not a bit," said another. 

The Royal Family occupied a small suite of apart- 
ments consisting of four cells, formerly belonging to 
the ancient monastery of the Feuillans. In the first 
were the men who had accompanied the King : the 
Prince de Poix, the Baron d'Aubier, M. de Saint- 
Pardou, equerry to Madame Elizabeth, MM. Goguelat, 
Chamilly and Hue. In the second we found the King ; 

i M. Thierry, who never ceased to give his Sovereign proofs 
of the most respectful and unalterable attachment, was one of the 
victims of the 2nd of September. — Note by Madame Campan. 


he was having his hair dressed. He took two locks of 
it, and gave one to my sister and one to me. We 
offered to kiss his hand ; he opposed it, and embraced 
us without saying anything. In the third was the 
Queen, in bed, and in an indescribable state of afflic- 
tion. We found her accompanied only by a bulky 
woman, who appeared tolerably civil ; she was the 
keeper of the apartments ; she waited upon the Queen, 
who as yet had none of her own people about her. 
Her Majesty stretched out her arms to us, saying, 
" Come, unfortunate women ; come and see one still 
more unhappy than yourself, since she has been the 
cause of all your misfortunes. We are ruined," 
continued she ; "we are arrived at that point to 
which they have been leading us for three years 
through all possible outrages ; we shall fall in this 
dreadful revolution, and many others will perish after 
us. All have alike contributed to our downfall ; the 
reformers have urged it like mad people, and others 
through ambition, for their own interests; for the 
wildest Jacobin seeks wealth and distinction, and the 
mob is eager for plunder — there is not one lover of 
his country among all this infamous horde. The emi- 
grant party had their intrigues and schemes ; foreigners 
sought to profit by the dissensions of France ; every- 
one had a share in our misfortunes." 

The Dauphin came in with Madame and the Mar- 
chioness de Tourzel. On seeing them the Queen said 
to me, " Poor children ! how heartrending it is, in- 
stead of handing down to them so fine an inheritance, 
to say, ' It ends with us ! ' " She afterwards con- 
versed with me about the Tuileries and the persons 


who had fallen ; she condescended also to mention 
the burning of my house. Without the smallest 
affectation I say it, I looked upon that loss as a mis- 
chance which ought not to dwell in her mind, and 
I told her so. She spoke of the Princess de Tarente, 
whom she greatly loved and valued, of Madame de 
la Roche-Aymon and her daughter, of other persons 
whom, she had left at the palace, and of the Duchess 
de Luynes, who was to have passed the night at 
the Tuileries. Respecting her she said, " Hers was 
one of the first heads turned by the rage for that 
mischievous philosophy ; but her heart brought her 
back, and I again found a friend in her." 1 I asked 
the Queen what the ambassadors from foreign Powers 
had done under existing circumstances. She told me 
that they could do nothing ; and that the wife of 
the English ambassador had just given her a proof 
of the private interest she took in her welfare by 
sending her linen for her son. 

I informed her that in the pillaging of my house 
all my accounts with her had been thrown into the 
Carrousel, and that every sheet of my month's ex- 
penditure was signed by her, sometimes leaving four 
or five inches of blank paper above her signature 
— a circumstance which rendered me very uneasy, 
from an apprehension that an improper use might be 
made of those signatures. She desired me to demand 

1 During the Reign of Terror I withdrew to the Chateau de 
Coubertin, near that of De Dampierre. The Duchess de Luynes 
frequently came to request I would repeat to her what the Queen 
had said about her at the Feuillans. We wept together, and she 
would say as she went away, "I have often need to request you to 
repeat those words of the Queen." — Note by Madame Campan. 


admission into the Committee of General Safety and 
to make this declaration there. I repaired thither 
instantly and found a deputy, with whose name I 
have never yet become acquainted. After hearing 
me, he said that " he would not receive my deposi- 
tion, that Marie Antoinette was now nothing more 
than any other Frenchwoman, and that if any of 
those detached papers bearing her signature should 
be misapplied, she would have, at a future period, a 
right to make a complaint, and to support her de- 
claration by the facts which I had just related." 
The Queen regretted having sent me, and entertained 
an apprehension that she had, by her very caution, 
pointed out a method of fabricating forgeries which 
might be dangerous to her. Then, again, she ex- 
claimed, " My apprehensions are as absurd as the 
step I made you take. They need nothing more for 
our ruin — all is over." She gave us an account of 
what had taken place subsequently to the King's 
arrival at the Assembly. It is all well known, and 
I have no occasion to repeat it. I will merely mention 
that she told us, though with much delicacy, that 
she was not a little hurt at the King's conduct since 
he had been at the Feuillans ; that his habit of lay- 
ing no restraint upon himself, and his great appetite, 
had prompted him to eat as if he had been at his 
palace ; that those who did not know him as she 
did, did not feel the piety and the magnanimity of 
his resignation — all which produced so bad an effect 
that deputies who were devoted to him had warned 
him of it, but that no change could be effected. 

I still see in imagination — and shall always see — 


that narrow cell at the Feuillans, hung with green 
paper ; that wretched conch whence the dethroned 
Queen stretched out her arms to us, saying that our 
misfortunes, of which she was the cause, aggravated 
her own ! There, for the last time, I saw the tears, 
I heard the sobs of her whom her high birth, the 
endowments of Nature, and, above all, the goodness 
of her heart, had seemed to destine for the adornment 
of a throne and the happiness of her people ! It is 
impossible for those who have lived with Louis XVI. 
and Marie Antoinette not to be fully convinced, even 
doing all justice to the King's virtues, that if the 
Queen had been, from the moment of her arrival in 
France, the object of the care and affection of a 
Prince of decision and authority, she would have 
greatly contributed to the glory of his reign. 

What affecting things I have heard the Queen 
say in the depth of her affliction, occasioned by the 
ill-founded opinion of a part of the Court and the 
whole of the people, that she did not love France! 
How did that opinion shock those who knew her 
heart and her sentiments ! Twice did I see her on 
the point of going forth from her apartments in the 
Tuileries into the gardens, for the purpose of addressing 
the immense throng constantly assembled there to 
insult her. " Yes," exclaimed she, as she paced her 
chamber with hurried steps ; " I will say to them, 
' Frenchmen, they have had the cruelty to persuade 
you that I do not love France! I, the mother of 
a Dauphin who will reign over this noble country ! 
I, whom Providence has seated upon the most 
powerful throne of Europe ! Of all the daughters of 


Maria Theresa, am I not that one whom fortune has 
most highly favoured ? And ought I not to feel all 
these advantages ? What should I find at Vienna ? 
Nothing but sepulchres ! What should I lose in 
France ? Everything which flatters honourable pride 
and sensibility ! ' " 

I protest I only repeat her own words here; but 
if, prompted by existing circumstances, her noble heart 
did at first send forth this burst of feeling, the sound- 
ness of her judgment soon pointed out to her the 
dangers of such a proceeding with regard to the 
people. " I should descend from the throne," said 
she, " merely, perhaps, to excite a momentary sym- 
pathy, which the factious would soon render more 
injurious than beneficial to me." 

Yes, not only did Marie Antoinette love France, 
but few women possessed in greater vigour than 
herself that feeling of pride which the courage of 
Frenchmen must inspire. I could adduce a multitude 
of proofs of this ; I will relate two traits which 
demonstrate the noblest national enthusiasm. The 
Queen was telling me that at the period of the corona- 
tion of the Emperor Francis II., that Prince, in 
bespeaking the admiration of a French general officer, 
who was then an emigrant, in favour of the fine 
appearance of his troops, said to him, " There are the 
men to beat your sans-culottes ! " " That remains to 
be seen, Sire," instantly replied the officer. The 
Queen added, " I don't know the name of the brave 
Frenchman, but I will learn it ; the King ought to be 
in possession of it." As she was reading the public 
papers a few days before the ioth of August, she 


observed that mention was made of the courage of a 
man who died in defending the flag he carried and 
shouting " Vive la nation ! " " Ah ! the fine fellow ! " 
said the Queen; "what a happiness it would have 
been for us if such men had never left off crying 
' Vive le Roi ! ' " 

In all that I have hitherto said of this most un- 
fortunate of woman and of queens, those who did not 
live with her, those who knew her but partially — and 
especially the majority of foreigners, prejudiced by 
infamous libels — may imagine I have thought it my 
duty to sacrifice truth on the altar of gratitude. 
Fortunately there are still in existence unexceptionable 
witnesses whom I can invoke ; they will declare 
whether what I assert that I have seen and heard 
appears to them either untrue or improbable. 



Petion refuses Madame Campan permission to be confined in the 
Temple with the Queen — She excites the suspicions of Robes- 
pierre — Domiciliary visits — Madame Campan opens the port- 
folio she had received from the King — Papers in it, with the 
Seals of State — Mirabeau's secret correspondence with the 
Court — It is destroyed, as well as the other papers — The only, 
document preserved — It is delivered to M. de Malesherbes, 
upon the trial of the unfortunate Louis XVI. — End of the 

The Queen having lost her watch and purse as 
she was passing from the Tuileries to the Feuillans, 
requested my sister to lend her twenty-five louis. 1 

I spent part of the day at the Feuillans, and Her 
Majesty told me she would ask Petion to let me be 
with her in the place which the Assembly should decree 
for the prison. I then returned home to prepare every- 
thing that might be necessary for me to accompany 
her thither. 

i On being interrogated, the Queen declared that these five- 
and-twenty louis had been lent to her by my sister ; this formed a 
pretence for arresting her and myself, and led to the death of that 
virtuous mother of a family.* — Note by Madame Campan. 

* Madame Auguie, who was remarkable for her height and beauty, 
was a woman of the greatest resolution. Death had no terrors for her ; 
but the idea of perishing innocently upon a scaffold aroused her indig- 
nation. " Never," said she, "shall the executioner lay his hand on me." 
Her religious sentiments would, perhaps, have inspired her with more 
resignation, but she was a mother, and the desire of preserving her 
property to her family suffered her to think of nothing but the means of 
anticipating an arrest otherwise inevitable. At the instant when the 
officers presented themselves for the purpose of arresting her, she 
precipitated herself from a third floor. This last sacrifice of maternal 
tenderness renders her end as honourable as her self-devotion to the 
Queen had been praiseworthy and affecting. — Note by the Editor. 


On the same day (the nth of August), at nine in the 
evening, I returned to the Feuillans, and found there 
were orders at all the gates forbidding my being 
admitted. I claimed a right to enter by virtue of the 
first permission which had been given to me, and was 
again refused. I was told that the Queen had as many 
people as were requisite about her. My sister was with 
her as well as one of my companions, who came out of 
the prisons of the Abbaye on the nth. I renewed my 
solicitations on the 12th; my tears and entreaties 
moved neither the keepers of the gates nor even a 
deputy to whom I addressed myself. 

I soon heard of the transfer of Louis XVI. and his 
family to the Temple. I went to Petion accompanied 
by a man for whom I had procured a place in the post- 
office, 1 and who was much disposed to serve me. He 
determined to go up to Petion alone ; he supplicated 
and told him that those who requested to be con- 
fined could not be suspected of evil designs, and that 
no political opinion could afford a ground of objection 
to these solicitations. Seeing that the well-meaning 
man did not succeed, I thought to do more in person ; 
but Petion persisted in his refusal, and threatened to 
send me to the prison of La Force. He was still more 
cruel when, thinking to give me a sort of consolation, he 
added that I might be certain that all those who were 
then with Louis XVI. and his family would not stay 
with them long. And in fact, two or three days after- 
wards, the Princess de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel, 
her daughter, the Queen's first woman, the first woman 

i M. Valadon. 


of the Dauphin and Madame, M. de Chamilly and 
M. Hue were carried off during the night and trans- 
ferred to La Force. 

After the departure of the King and Queen for the 
Temple, my sister was detained a prisoner for twenty- 
four hours in the apartments Their Majesties had 

From this time I was reduced to the misery of 
having no further intelligence of my august and un- 
fortunate mistress but through the medium of the 
newspapers or the National Guard, who did duty at 
the Temple. 

The King and Queen said nothing to me at the 
Feuillans about the portfolio which had been deposited 
with me. No doubt they expected to see me again. 
The Minister Roland and the deputies composing the 
Provisional Government were very intent on search 
for papers belonging to Their Majesties. They had 
the whole of the Tuileries ransacked. The infamous 
Robespierre bethought himself of M. Campan, the 
Queen's private secretary, and said that his death was 
feigned, that he was living unknown in some obscure 
part of France, and was doubtless the depositary of 
all the important papers. In a great portfolio belonging 
to the King there had been found a solitary letter 
from the Count d'Artois, which, by its date and the 
subjects of which it treated, indicated the existence 
of a continued correspondence. (This letter appears 
among the documents used at the trial of Louis 
XVI.) A former preceptor of my son's had studied 
with Robespierre. The latter meeting him in the 
street, and knowing the connection which had sub- 


sisted between him and the family of M. Campan, 
required him to say, upon his honour, whether he 
was certain of the death of the latter. The man 
replied that M. Campan had died at La Briche in 
1 79 1, and that he had seen him interred in the ceme- 
tery of Epinay. " Well, then," resumed Robespierre, 
" bring me the certificate of his burial at twelve to- 
morrow ; it is a document for which I have pressing 
occasion." Upon hearing the deputy's demand, I 
instantly sent for a certificate of M. Campan's burial, 
and Robespierre received it at nine o'clock the next 
morning. But I considered that in thinking of my 
father-in-law they were coming very near me, the real 
depositary of these important papers. I passed days 
and nights in considering what I could do for the 
best, or what would be the most prudent under such 

I was thus situated when the order to inform 
against what were called the attentats of the ioth of 
August led to domiciliary visits. My servants were 
informed that the people of the quarter in which I 
lived talked much of the search that would be made 
in my house, and came to apprise me of it. I heard 
that fifty armed men would make themselves masters 
of M. Auguie's house, where I then was. I had 
just received this intelligence when M. Gougenot, 
the King's maitre d'hotel and receiver-general of the 
household, a man much attached to his Sovereign, 
came into my room, wrapped in a riding-cloak, under 
which with great difficulty he carried the King's port- 
folio which I had entrusted to him. He threw it 
down at my feet, and said to me, " There is your 

vol. 11 15 


deposit. I did not receive it from our unfortunate 
King's own hands ; in delivering it to you I have 
executed my trust." After saying this he was about 
to withdraw. I stopped him, praying him to concert 
with me what I ought to do in such a trying emer- 
gency. He would not listen to my entreaties, or even 
hear me describe the course I intended to pursue. I 
told him my abode was about to be surrounded ; 
I imparted to him what the Queen had said to me 
about the contents of the portfolio. To all this he 
answered, " There it is ; decide for yourself ; I will 
have no hand in it." Upon that I remained a few 
seconds buried in thought, and I remember that my 
conduct was founded upon the following reasons. I 
spoke aloud, although to myself; I walked about the 
room with agitated steps. The unfortunate Gougenot 
was thunderstruck. " Yes," said I, " when we can 
no longer communicate with our King and receive 
his orders, however attached we may be to him, we 
can only serve him according to the best of our own 
judgment. The Queen said to me, ' This portfolio 
contains scarcely anything but documents of a most 
dangerous description in the event of a trial taking 
place, if it should fall into the hand of revolutionary 
persons.' She mentioned, too, a single document 
which would under the same circumstances be useful. 
It is my duty to interpret her words and consider 
them as orders. She meant to say, ' You will save 
such a paper ; you will destroy the rest if they are 
likely to be taken from you.' If it were not so, was 
there any occasion for her to enter into any parti- 
culars of what the portfolio contained ? The order to 


keep it was sufficient. Probably it contains, more- 
over, the letters of that part of the family which 
has emigrated. There is nothing which may have 
been foreseen or decided upon that can be useful 
now, and there can be no political thread which has 
not been cut by the events of the ioth of August 
and the imprisonment of the King. My house is 
about, to be surrounded. I cannot conceal anything 
of such bulk. I might, then, through my want of fore- 
sight give up that which would possibly cause the 
condemnation of the King. Let us open the portfolio, 
save the document alluded to, and destroy the rest." 
I took a knife and cut open one side of the portfolio. 
I saw a great number of envelopes endorsed with 
the King's own hand. M. Gougenot found there the 
ancient seals of the King, 1 such as they were before 
the Assembly had changed the inscription. At this 
moment we heard a great noise. He agreed to tie up 
the portfolio, take it again under his cloak, and go to 
a safe place to execute what I had taken upon myself 
to determine. He made me swear by all I held most 
sacred that I would affirm, under every possible emer- 
gency, that the course I was pursuing had not been 
dictated to me by anybody, and that whatever might 
be the result I would take all the credit or all the 
blame upon myself. I lifted up my hand and took 
the oath he required ; he went out. Half an hour 
afterwards a great number of armed men came to 

i No doubt it was in order to have the ancient seals ready 
at a moment's notice in case of a counter-revolution that the 
Queen desired me not to quit the Tuileries. M. Gougenot threw 
the seals into the river, one from off the Pont Neuf and the 
other from near the Pont Royal. — Note by Madame Campan. 

1 5— 2 


my house. They placed sentinels at all the outlets, 
they broke open secretaires and closets of which they 
had not the keys, they searched the garden pots 
and boxes, they examined the cellars, and the com- 
mandant repeatedly said, " Look particularly for 
papers." In the afternoon M. Gougenot returned. 
He had still the seals of France about him, and he 
brought me a statement of all that he had burnt. 

The portfolio contained twenty letters from Mon- 
sieur, eighteen or nineteen from the Count d'Artois, 
seventeen from Madame Adelaide, eighteen from 
Madame Victoire, a great many letters from Count 
Alexandre de Lameth, and many from M. de Males- 
herbes, with documents annexed to them. There 
were also some from M. de Montmorin and other 
ex-ministers or ambassadors. Each correspondence 
had its title written in the King's own hand upon 
the blank paper which contained it. The most 
voluminous was that from Mirabeau. It was tied 
up with a scheme for an escape, which he thought 
necessary. M. Gougenot, who had skimmed over 
these letters with more attention than the rest, told 
me they were of so interesting a nature that the 
King had no doubt kept them as documents ex- 
ceedingly valuable for a history of his reign, and 
that the correspondence with the Princes, which 
was entirely relative, to what was going forward 
without in concert with the King, would have been 
fatal to him had it been seized. After he had 
finished he placed in my hands the proces-verbal 
signed by all the ministers, to which the King 
attached so much importance, because he had given 


his opinion against the declaration of war ; a copy 
of the letter written by the King to the Princes, 
his brothers, inviting them to return to France ; an 
account of the diamonds which the Queen had sent 
to Brussels (these two documents were in my hand- 
writing), and a receipt for 400,000 francs under the 
hand of a celebrated banker. This sum was part of the 
800,000 francs which the Queen had gradually saved 
during her reign out of her pension of 300,000 francs 
per annum and out of the 100,000 francs given by 
way of present on the birth of the Dauphin. This 
receipt, written on a very small piece of paper, was 
in the cover of an almanac. I agreed with M. 
Gougenot, who was obliged by his station to reside 
in Paris, that he should retain the proces-verbal of 
the Council and the receipt for the 400,000 francs, 
and that we should wait either for orders or for the 
means of transmitting these documents to the King 
or Queen, and I set out for Versailles. 

The strictness of the precautions taken to guard 
the illustrious prisoners was daily increased. The 
idea that I could not inform the King of the course 
I had adopted of burning his papers, and the fear 
that I should not be able to transmit him that 
which he had pointed out as necessary to him, 
tormented me to such a degree that it is wonderful 
my health endured the trial. I was, moreover, harassed 
every morning by the fears and projects of a very 
worthy person, who proved to me that in times of 
civil tumults terror causes the commission of actions 
which assist the factious, and that secrets of im- 
portance should be entrusted to none but persons of 


strong minds incapable of fear. The poor seam- 
stress, who had been shut up a week in my apart- 
ment at the Tuileries to make the King's breastplate 
there, was very pious and very much attached to the 
Royal Family. I thought I could rely upon her, but 
the poor woman persuaded herself that she, her 
children and her husband were in danger of destruc- 
tion if she did not go to the Assembly and declare 
that at such a time she had been sent for to the 
Castle of the Tuileries for a purpose which she thought 
it her duty to denounce. She came every morning as 
soon as I awoke to inform me that she was going to 
Paris, and that she would not ruin her whole family. 
I calmed her, and brought her to her senses. I 
proved to her that I had merely used her as she 
would her own needle, that the affair could not transpire 
unless she disclosed it, and that in case it did, which, 
however, appeared to me impossible, the unfortunate 
monarch would be first attacked for having ordered 
the work ; and next, that I should be called in ques- 
tion for having caused it to be executed ; but that she, 
who had only worked by the day under my direction, 
had nothing to fear. She would leave me in a more 
quiet state, but would return on the morrow fraught 
with new fears. Nor were visions wanting in the 
case : the Virgin had told her that her children and 
husband were not to be sacrificed for any human 
being whomsoever. I remained at least a fortnight 
tormented by this perpetual uneasiness. Happily, time 
set her weak head at rest. When the Assembly held 
up to the people Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette 
as having wished to put all Paris to the sword, they 


would not have failed to impute weakness to the 
King on account of this breastplate, which he had 
at first consented to wear merely in compliance with 
the Queen's entreaties, and of which he had refused 
to make use on the night of the ioth of August. 

The dreadful trial drew near. Official advocates 
were granted to the King ; the heroic virtue of M. 
de Malesherbes induced him to brave the most im- 
minent dangers, either to save his master or to perish 
with him. I hoped also to be able to find some 
means of informing His Majesty of what I had 
thought it right to do. I sent a man on whom I 
could rely to Paris to request M. Gougenot to come 
to me at Versailles ; he came immediately. We agreed 
that he should see M. de Malesherbes without availing 
himself of any intermediate person for that purpose. 

M. Gougenot awaited his return from the Temple 
at the door of his hotel, and made a sign that he 
wished to speak to him. A moment afterwards a 
servant came to introduce him into the magistrates' 
room. He imparted to M. de Malesherbes what I 
had thought right to do with respect to the King's 
papers, and placed in his hands the proces-verbal of 
the Council, which His Majesty had preserved in 
order to serve, if occasion required it, for a ground 
of his defence. However, this paper is not mentioned 
in either of the speeches of his advocate ; probably it 
was determined not to make use of it. 

I pause at that terrible period which is marked by 
the assassination of a King whose divine virtues are 
well known, but I cannot refrain from relating what 
he deigned to say in my favour to M. de Malesherbes : 


" Let Madame Campan know that she did what I 
should myself have ordered her to do. I thank her 
for it ; she is one of those whom I regret I have it 
not in my power to recompense for their fidelity to 
my person and for their good services." I did not 
hear of this until the morning after he had suffered, 
and I think I should have sunk under my despair if 
I had not been consoled by this honourable testimony. 

[Madame Campan' s Memoirs terminate here. Her recital ends 
with her services about the unfortunate Princess, who fully appre- 
ciated her zeal and her self-devotion. She was unwilling to speak 
of anything but what she had seen with her own eyes or learnt 
from the mouth of the Queen herself, and her silence respecting the 
lamentable events which succeeded the iothof August gives greater 
weight to her testimony upon all that goes before. — Note by the 




Committal of the Royal Family to the Temple — Removal of 
the Princess de Lamballe — Description of the Temple — 
Apartments occupied — Attendance — Expenses — Extract from 
Clery's Journal — Habits of the Royal Family — Studies — 
Massacres in the prisons of Paris — Murder of the Princess 
de Lamballe — Brutality of the mob — Sufferings of the Royal 
Family — Abolition of Royalty — Trial of Louis XVI. — Separa- 
tion from his family — His execution — Destruction of his 

The faithful and eloquent relation of the weak- 
nesses, the sorrows, the sufferings, attributable to 
nothing less than the sins of the unfortunate Royal 
Family of France, terminates abruptly with the 
separation of their illustrious narrator, Madame 
Campan, from the august victim whom she had 
served so faithfully through such vicissitudes of splen- 
dour and despair, of magnificence and misery. 

That separation occurred on Monday, the 13th 
day of August, 1792, when Louis, with Marie An- 
toinette, Madame Elizabeth (the King's sister), 
Madame Royale (the King's daughter, afterwards 
Duchess d'Angouleme), and the Dauphin, the Prin- 
cess de Lamballe, one male and two or three female 
attendants, were conveyed to the Temple, and when 
Petion, the infamous Mayor of Paris, refused to 


Madame Campan the sad consolation of sharing the 
imprisonment and endeavouring at least to alleviate 
the sufferings of her Royal mistress. 

This cruelty was speedily followed by worse bar- 
barities. On pretence of suspicious circumstances, 
the Princess de Lamballe and all the female atten- 
dants were removed by the order of the insurrectionary 
Commune, now the executive, or rather, sole supreme 
power of France, the former to be confined in the 
common prison called l'Abbaye, whence she was never 
to issue until the day of her atrocious murder. 

The Temple, in which the Royal Family was now 
immured, is no other than the old castellated pile, half 
monastery, half fortress, formerly the possession and 
abode of the celebrated order of Knights Templars, 
from which they had been driven out to the gibbet, 
the faggot and the rack five centuries before, on a 
false charge of necromancy and magic, by the then 
ancestor of its present tenant. It consisted of two 
parts, one called the Palace, into which the Royal 
Family were placed in the first instance ; the other, 
known as the Tower, the ancient keep or donjon 
of the place, to which they were consigned on the 
very night of their arrival. 

This prison was composed of " a high, square 
tower " (we quote from the " History of the French 
Revolutions" published by Messrs. Chambers: People's 
Edition), " flanked by two turrets, in one of which 
was a winding staircase leading to a terrace on the 
top. In each story of the tower were three rooms, 
one being simply the size of the turret and very 
small. The first story was occupied by guards and 


municipal officers, the second by the Queen and 
the Princesses, and the third by the King and the 
faithful Clery, 1 the only attendant left to wait on 
the whole family after the removal of M. Hue, who 
was carried off on the 2nd of September and nar- 
rowly escaped the murders of that period. A muni- 
cipal officer was constantly on guard in each of 
the upper stories. During the day he sat in the 
same room with the prisoners, and by his presence 
prevented them from holding confidential intercourse, 
a restraint they found of all others the most irk- 
some and galling ; during the night, one lay at the 
door of the King's room with the bed in sight. 
The other watched over the Queen in like manner, 
but had the decency to allow the door to be closed. 
The life led by the prisoners was pretty uniform, 
except when disturbed by the caprice of municipals 
with a larger share of vulgar arrogance than was 
usual with their fellows." 

At first it would appear that some degree of decency 
was observed towards the unfortunate Royal Family, 
although restrictions, the more cruel because utterly 
unnecessary — such as the constant presence of the 
rudest and most brutal of the populace as superin- 
tendents and watchers — were inflicted on them day 
and night. 

Although but one personal attendant was permitted 
to the whole Royal Family, a measure attributed to the 
jealousy of extreme precaution, thirteen are said to have 
been employed in the kitchens allowed to the establish- 

1 Clery did not in truth enter the Temple until after 
Hue's dismissal. 


ment — though it is very difficult to conceive how so 
many could be employed in preparing food for three 
adults and two children, and though the fact rests only 
on the authority of M. Thiers, who never gives his data 
and must be admitted a most partial, or rather partisan, 
historian — and 28,745 bVres (about ^1,100) were the 
expenses of the table during two months. No news 
of any kind was, however, permitted to enter the 
precincts of the Temple, save the tidings of victories 
gained by the Republic over the invading Austrian 
and Prussian forces, which were regularly sent into 
the prison by the representatives of the commune, 
not as an act of mercy, but as a refinement of 
cruelty, since these tidings, proving the inability of 
their friends to rescue them by force of arms, served 
only to deprive them of every hope. 

Up to the period when the trial and punishment 
of the Royal prisoner Louis began to be very seriously 
mooted, the lives of the prisoners were as uniform as 
they were sad and monotonous, and are thus simply, 
and therefore the more touchingly, related by the 
faithful attendant Clery, who devoted himself, with a 
fidelity more like that of the canine than of the human 
species, to alleviate the miseries of his hapless master, 
from whom he parted only at the foot of the scaffold 
which he was soon to ascend, the best, if the weakest, 
of dethroned and decapitated kings. 

"The largest room was the Queen's bed-chamber, in 
which the Dauphin also slept. The second, which was 
separated from the Queen's by a small ante-chamber 
almost without light, was occupied by Madame Royale 
and Madame Elizabeth. This chamber was the only 


way to the turret room of this story, and the turret 
room was the only place of office for this whole range of 
building, being in common for the Royal Family, the 
municipal officers and the soldiers. The King's apart- 
ments were on the third story. He slept in the great 
chamber, and made a study of the turret closet. There 
was a kitchen separated from the King's chamber by a 
small dark room, which had been successively occupied 
by MM. de Chantilly and de Hue, and on which the 
seals were now fixed. The fourth story was closed, 
and on the ground-floor there were kitchens, of which 
no use was now made. The King usually rose at six in 
the morning. He shaved himself, and I dressed his 
hair ; he then went to his reading-room, which being 
very small, the municipal officer remained on duty in 
the bed-chamber, that he might always keep the King 
in sight. His Majesty continued praying, on his knees, 
till seven or eight o'clock, and then read till nine. 
During that interval, after putting his chamber to 
rights and preparing the breakfast, 1 I went down to the 
Queen, who never opened her door till I arrived, in 
order to prevent the municipal officer from going into 
her apartment. At nine o'clock the Queen, the children 
and Madame Elizabeth went up to the King's chamber 
to breakfast. At ten the King and his family went 
down to the Queen's chamber, and there passed the 
day. He employed himself in educating his son, 
made him recite passages from Corneille and Racine, 

1 This, and the previous statement concerning the kitchens 
on the ground-floor being closed, appear utterly to contradict the 
statement of M. Thiers, and we regard the words of the faithful 
domestic as far more credible than that of the revolutionary 


gave him lessons in geography, and exercised him in 
colouring the maps. The Queen, on her part, was 
employed in the education of her daughter, and these 
different lessons lasted till eleven o'clock. The re- 
maining time till noon was passed in needlework, 
knitting, or making tapestry. At one o'clock, when 
the weather was fine, the Royal Family were con- 
ducted to the garden by four municipal officers and a 
commander of a legion of the National Guard. At two 
we returned to the tower, where I served the dinner, 
at which time Santerre regularly came to the Temple 
attended by two aides-de-camp. The King sometimes 
spoke to him, the Queen never. In the evening, the 
family sat round a table, while the Queen read to 
them books of history or other works proper to instruct 
and amuse the children. Madame Elizabeth took the 
book in her turn, and in this manner they read till 
eight o'clock. After the Dauphin had supped, I un- 
dressed him, and the Queen heard him say his 
prayers. At nine the King went to supper, and after- 
wards went for a moment to the Queen's chamber, 
shook hands .with her and his sister, kissed his children, 
and then retired to the turret room, where he sat 
reading till midnight. 

" The Queen and the Princesses locked themselves 
in, and one of the municipal officers remained in the 
little room which parted their chamber, where he 
passed the night. The other followed His Majesty. 
In this manner the time was passed as long as the 
King remained in the little tower." 

We learn from other authorities that the favourite 
authors of Louis XVI. were Plato, Hume, Bossuet, 


Fenelon, Montesquieu and the French tragedians, 
Corneille, Racine and Voltaire ; and from the same 
source, that the turret chamber of the suite used as 
dining and sitting rooms contained a small library of 
from twelve to fifteen hundred volumes, which proved 
the greatest solace to the captives. 

Thus things passed on with a monotonous tran- 
quillity, interrupted only by the anticipations of their 
future fate, and the occasional insults of their brutal 
keepers and yet more brutal visitors from the com- 
mune — insults endured by the King with a calm and 
patient dignity, which would have been absolute 
heroism had it not been attributable in some degree 
to the natural indifference of an impassive temper ; 
by the Queen with a haughty scorn, interrupted by 
occasional bursts of feminine spirit — until the hideous 
massacres of the prisoners in all the places of deten- 
tion throughout the metropolis, from the 2nd to the 
7th of September. 

These massacres — which Carlyle attempts to pal- 
liate by representing them as no more horrible or 
detestable than any other equal number of deaths, 
whether resulting from famine, war or pestilence, and 
which other apologists of the revolutionary crimes 
have attempted to ascribe entirely to the casual fury 
of the mob — were in reality planned deliberately by 
Danton, Marat and other members of the Mountain 
party, as is proved by the fact that pits filled with 
quicklime were prepared for the reception of the 
corpses, in anticipation of their slaughter by the orders 
of Manuel and Petion. 

In the course of these deliberate slaughters, the 


prisoners being arraigned before mock tribunals and 
then slaughtered with every species of torture, insult 
and indignity, even to the maiming of corpses ; 
slaughters interrupted by regular intervals, during 
which the corpses were removed while the workmen 
(puvriers, as they were then termed) quietly sat down, 
ate their dinners (brought to them in baskets by their 
wives and daughters), drank wine supplied to them 
by the authorities, and received wages from the 
commune ; slaughters gloated over by the fiendish 
women of the period, who insisted on having the 
streets illuminated by night, that they might feast 
their woman-eyes on the sufferings and the carnage 
which ceased not day or night. In the course of these 
slaughters, it is variously computed that prisoners of 
both sexes, of all ages and ranks, from the wanton 
in the hospital of Bicetre to the Princess in the 
Abbaye, were deliberately butchered by authority, to 
the number of eight and up to fourteen thousand. 
Of all these none was more hideous or brutal than 
that of the Princess de Lamballe. 

She was young, very beautiful, gentle, kindly dis- 
posed to all, moderate in her opinions, had never 
taken any part in politics ; but she was beloved by the 
Queen, was the friend of the King, and with these 
crimes against her what could her virtues avail in her 
behalf with a revolutionary mob ? 

On her mock trial she consented to swear fealty 
to " Liberty and Equality," but refused to swear 
hatred to "the King, the Queen, and loyalty." 
This was her condemnation ; with the by- word, " Let 
Madame be set at liberty," the fatal sentence at the 


Abbaye, she was consigned to her murderers. The 
atrocities which followed are thus described by eye- 
witnesses, and though they may probably cause the 
blood to run cold and the hair to bristle with 
horror, it is yet good to contemplate them in order 
to perceive more clearly of what the populace is 
capable when controlled by no laws, human or 
divine, and left to the guidance of its own unbridled 

" The Princess de Lamballe, having been spared 
on the night of the 2nd, flung herself on her bed, 
oppressed with every species of anxiety and horror. 
She closed her eyes, but only to open them in an 
instant, startled with frightful dreams. About eight 
o'clock next morning two national guards entered 
her room to inform her that she was going to be 
removed to the Abbaye. She slipped on her gown 
and went downstairs into the sessions-room. When 
she entered this frightful court, the sight of weapons 
stained with blood, and of executioners whose hands, 
faces and clothes were smeared over with the same 
red dye, gave her such a shock that she fainted 
several times. At length she was subjected to a 
mock examination, after which, just as she was 
stepping across the threshold of the door, she re- 
ceived on the back of her head a blow with a 
hanger, which made the blood spout. Two men then 
laid fast hold of her, and obliged her to walk over 
dead bodies, while she was fainting every instant. 
They then completed her murder by running her 
through with their spears on a heap of corpses. 
She was afterwards stripped, and her naked body 
vol. 11 16 


exposed to the insults of the populace. In this state 
it remained more than two hours. When any blood 
gushing from its wounds stained the skin some men, 
placed there for the purpose, immediately washed it 
off to make the spectators take more particular 
notice of its whiteness. I must not venture to 
describe the excesses of barbarity and lustful in- 
decency with which this corpse was defiled. I shall 
only say that a cannon was charged with one of 
the legs. Towards noon the murderers determined 
to cut off her head, and carry it in triumph round 
Paris. Her other scattered limbs were also given to 
troops of cannibals who trailed them along the 
streets. The pike that supported the head was 
planted under the very windows of the Duke of 
Orleans. He was sitting down to dinner at the time, 
but rose from his chair, and gazed at the ghastly 
spectacle without displaying the least symptom of 
uneasiness, terror or satisfaction. 

" Madame de Lamballe's sincere attachment to the 
Queen was her only crime. In the midst of our 
commotions she had played no part ; nothing, could 
render her suspected by the people, to whom she 
was only known by repeated acts of beneficence. 
When summoned to the bar of La Force many 
among the crowd besought pardon for her, and the 
assassins for a moment stood doubtful, but soon 
murdered her. Immediately they cut off her head 
and her breasts ; her body was opened ; her heart 
torn out, and the tigers who had so mangled her 
took a barbarous pleasure in going to show her 
head and heart to Louis XVI. and his family at 


the Temple. Madame de Lamballe was beautiful, 
gentle, obliging and moderate." 

Even the cynical Pantagruelist Carlyle — who, in 
his strange admiration for whatever is strong, strin- 
gent, energetic and decisive, whether in man or 
masses, apologises for every crime and cruelty, 
and who grins and gibbers with grim exultation 
over all suffering and sorrow of the feeble-minded 
great in his bitter scorn of all that is weak — is moved 
by this fiendish deed to an eloquence as nigh akin to 
pity as his stern and hard nature is capable of. 

What followed is thus related by Mr. Redhead, 
in Chambers' popular edition of the "French Revolu- 
tions," which I prefer to the narrative of M. Thiers, 
as it is fuller and far more circumstantial. While he 
states honestly both sides of the picture, the historian 
of the Revolution carefully conceals all the darker 
features of the scene and exposes all the gentler and 
more redeeming traits. 

" The murder of the Princess de Lamballe re- 
called to memory the illustrious captives of the Temple, 
who seemed to have been forgotten up to that moment. 
A detachment of the assassins employed at La Force 
now moved towards their prison bearing aloft the head 
and heart of the Princess and followed by a tumultu- 
ous rabble. The King and his family were at dinner 
when they heard the tumult caused by their arrival. 
They rose from the table in great alarm, but the 
municipal officers on guard over them maintained a 
dogged silence and refused to satisfy their anxious 
enquiries. The outer gate meanwhile was besieged by 
the multitude, who demanded admittance and access 

16 — 2 


into the interior of the Temple to lay the head of 
Lamballe, as the ringleader expressed it, at the foot of 
the throne. Certain commissioners of the commune 
who had been deputed to protect the asylum of the 
national hostages, for such Louis and his family were 
denominated, parleyed with the assailants, and agreed 
to admit them into the court and garden of the 
Tower on their promising to proceed no farther. Such 
a promise was, of course, purely derisory, and it is 
certain that the lives of the Royal Family were aban- 
doned to the mercy or discretion of these murderers. 
' Resistance,' the commissioners had resolved amongst 
themselves, ' would be impolitic, dangerous and, per- 
haps, unjust.' And in fact the muskets of the national 
guards had been purposely left unloaded and their 
bayonets taken from them. Therefore no material 
obstacle opposed the assassins ; the way was made 
smooth for them ; but they had undoubtedly secret 
instructions, and pretended to respect a tricoloured 
ribbon which the municipal officers had hung across the 
door of the Tower, in accordance with a stale device 
which furnished orators with the theme of much lively 
bombast. They insisted, however, that the King and 
Queen should show themselves at the windows that 
they might see the head of the Princess and ' learn 
the fate that was in store for the enemies of the people.' 
Finding that their interpellations were not regarded — 
for the officers with the King happening to be men of 
some humanity 1 kept him and the Queen from going 

i Ojie municipal in the Temple with the Royal prisoners at 
the moment said, "Look out." Another eagerly whispered, "Do 
not look." — Carlyle. 


to the window — they asserted that the Royal Family 
had been removed from the Temple and claimed that 
a deputation should be permitted to enter and verify 
the fact. To this demand the commissioners were 
fain to accede, and four of the ruffians were taken to 
the room in which the Royal Family were assembled. 
One of these, more forward than the rest, was urgent 
that the King and Queen should show themselves, but 
the municipal officers positively refused to allow them, 
whereupon he turned to the Queen and said, ' It is 
Lamballe's head they want to keep you from seeing, 
but I advise you to show yourself if you would not 
have the avengers come up here.' On hearing these 
words the Queen immediately fainted. The King ad- 
vanced to the wretch and rebuked him with sternness. 
• We are prepared, sir, for anything,' he observed to 
him ; ' but you might have spared the Queen the re- 
lation of this horrible disaster.' The deputation then 
hastily withdrew, and guaranteed to the mob without 
that the hostages were, at all events, safe within 
their dungeons ; but for several hours gangs of mis- 
creants continued around the prison, bellowing with 
fearful howls, beating with furious discordance loud, 
resonant drums, and renewing every moment the dread 
of a violent irruption. It was eight in the evening 
before tranquillity was restored in the neighbourhood 
of the Temple and the Royal captives left to snatch 
some repose after the cruel agitations of the day." 

From this fearful moment the sufferings, no less 
than the fears, of the Royal Family were cruelly 
augmented. Their restrictions and the impertinent 
annoyances of their democratic visitors increased daily. 


The King's sword was taken from him, and then the 
penknives and scissors of the Princesses were demanded, 
as if they would have committed suicide. When they 
went out to walk in the garden the guards insulted 
them with obscene language, puffed smoke in their 
faces and purposely obstructed their way, treading on 
their feet and otherwise pressing on their persons. In 
fact, nothing that low-bred cruelty could devise was 
omitted for their torture ; for what torture can be 
greater to the high - minded and delicately bred and 
nobly nurtured than the endurance of obscenity and 
insult from the low and profane rabble ! 

It is related by Clery in his journal, that one of 
the soldiers on guard within the Tower wrote one 
day on the King's chamber door, and that on the in- 
side, " The guillotine is permanent, and ready for the 
tyrant Louis XVI." The King read the words, which 
I made an attempt to rub out, but His Majesty pre- 
vented me. 

Up to this period the Royal Family had been 
detained merely, as it was expressed, as " national 
hostages," and Royalty was considered as not being 
abolished, but merely suspended. The time had now, 
however, come when this farce was to be brought 
to a termination ; accordingly — we quote as before 
from Clery's journal of the sufferings of the Royal 
captives : 

" On the 21st of September, at four o'clock in the 
afternoon, Lubin, a municipal officer, attended by 
horsemen and a great mob, came before the Tower to 
make a proclamation. Trumpets were sounded and a 
dead silence ensued. Lubin's voice was of the sten- 


torian kind. The Royal Family could distinctly hear 
the proclamation of the abolition of Royalty and of 
the establishment of a Republic. Hebert, so well 
known by the name of Pere Duchesne, and Destour- 
nelles, since made Minister of the Public Contributions, 
were then on guard over the family. They were 
sitting at the time near the door, and rudely stared 
the King in the face. The monarch perceived it, but, 
having a book in his hand, continued to read, without 
suffering the smallest alteration to appear in his coun- 
tenance. The Queen displayed equal resolution. At 
the end of the proclamation the trumpets sounded 
again, and I went to the window. The eyes of the 
populace were immediately turned upon me ; I was 
taken for my Royal master and overwhelmed with 
abuse. The same evening I informed the King that 
curtains and more clothes were wanting for the Dau- 
phin's bed as the weather began to be cold. He 
desired me to write the demand for them, which he 
signed. I used the same expressions that I had 
hitherto done, ' The King requires for his son,' and 
so forth. 'It is a great piece of assurance in you,' 
said Destournelles, ' thus to persist in a title abolished 
by the will of the people, as you have just heard.' 
I replied that I had heard a proclamation, but was 
unacquainted with the object of it. ' It is,' rejoined 
he, ' for the abolition of Royalty ; and you may tell 
the gentleman,'' pointing to the King, ' to give over 
taking a title no longer acknowledged by the people.' 
I told him I could not alter this note, which was 
already signed, as the King would ask me the reason 
and it was not my part to tell him. ' You will do as 


you like,' continued Destournelles, ' but I shall not 
certify the demand.' " 

From this period forward their sufferings were, 
if possible, yet augmented, until at length they were 
brought to a climax by the announcement to the 
hapless captives that, in the words of M. Thiers: 

" The unfortunate monarch was thus about to 
appear before the National Convention and to undergo 
an examination concerning all the acts of his reign. 
This intelligence had reached Clery by the secret 
means of correspondence which he had secured out- 
side the prison, and it was with trembling that he 
imparted it to the disconsolate family. Not daring 
to tell the King himself, he had communicated it to 
Madame Elizabeth, and had, moreover, informed her 
that during the trial the commune had determined to 
separate Louis XVI. from his family. He agreed with 
the Princess upon a method of correspondence during 
this separation. This method consisted in a handker- 
chief which Clery, who was to remain with the King, 
was to transmit to the Princesses if Louis XVI. should 
be ill. This was all that the unfortunate prisoners 
could calculate upon communicating to one another. 
The King was apprised by his sister of his speedily- 
required appearance, and of the separation which 
they were to undergo during the trial. He received 
the tidings with perfect resignation, and prepared to 
encounter with firmness that painful scene. 

11 The commune had given directions that early 
in the morning of the nth of December all the 
administrative bodies should meet ; that all the 
sections should be under arms ; that the guard of 


all the public places, chests, depots, &c, should be 
augmented by two hundred men for each post ; that 
numerous reserves should be stationed at different 
points with a strong artillery ; and that an escort 
of picked men should accompany the carriage. 

" Accordingly, on the morning of the nth of 
December, the generate announced to the capital 
this novel and melancholy scene. Numerous troops 
surrounded the Temple, and the din of arms and 
the tramp of horses reached the prisoners, who 
affected ignorance of the cause of all this bustle. 
At nine in the morning the family repaired as usual 
to the King's apartment to breakfast. The municipal 
officers, more vigilant than ever, prevented by their 
presence any outpouring of affection. The family 
was at length separated. In vain the King desired 
that his son should be left with him for a few 
moments. In spite of his entreaties the young 
Prince was taken away, and he remained alone for 
about two hours. The Mayor of Paris and the 
pvocureur of the commune then arrived, and com- 
municated to him the decree of the Convention, 
summoning him to its bar by the name of Louis 
Capet. ' Capet,' replied the Prince, ' was the name 
of one of my ancestors, but it is not mine.' He 
then rose, and entered the carriage of the mayor, 
which was waiting for him. Six hundred picked 
men surrounded the vehicle. It was preceded by 
three pieces of cannon and followed by three more. 
A numerous body of cavalry formed the advance 
and the rear guard. A great concourse of people 
surveyed in silence this sad cavalcade, and suffered 


this rigour as it had long submitted to that of the 
old Government. There were some shouts, but very 
few. The Prince was not moved by them, and 
calmly conversed upon the objects that presented 
themselves on the way. Having arrived at the 
Feuillans, he was placed in a room to await the 
orders of the Assembly." 

The cruel circumstance of the deprivation of his 
son is thus related by Clery, on whose simple 
narrations we place the highest confidence. 

" At eleven o'clock, when the King was hearing 
the Dauphin read, two municipal officers walked in, 
and told His Majesty that they were come to carry 
the young Louis to his mother. The King desired 
to know why he was taken away. The com- 
missioners replied that they were executing the 
orders of the council of the commune. The King 
tenderly embraced his son, and charged me to 
conduct him. On my return, I assured His 
Majesty that I had delivered the Prince to the 
Queen, which appeared a little to relieve his mind. 
His Majesty afterwards for some minutes walked 
about his room in much agitation, then sat down 
in an arm-chair at the head of the bed. The door 
stood ajar, but the officer did not like to go in, 
wishing, as he told me, to avoid questions ; but half 
an hour passing thus in dead silence, he became 
uneasy at not hearing the King move, and went 
softly in ; he found him leaning with his head upon 
his hand, apparently in deep thought. The King, upon 
being disturbed, said, ' What do you want with me ? ' 
' I was afraid,' answered the officer, ' that you were 


unwell.' ' I am obliged to you,' replied the King, 
in an accent replete with anguish ; ' but the manner 
in which they have taken my son from me cuts 
me to the heart.' The municipal officer withdrew 
without saying aVword." 

From this time forth, with a barbarity incon- 
ceivable in those human fiends, and days of merciless 
and more than devilish crime, the wretched Louis 
was refused all access to his miserable family. The 
use of a razor was denied him, so that he suffered 
actual pain from the irritation of his face, until, on 
the eve of his execution, he was allowed to shave in 
the presence of a municipal officer. 

He was permitted, it is true, the aid of counsel 
and the use of pens and paper, but what availed either 
when his sentence was predetermined and his death- 
warrant almost signed before he was brought to the 
bar ? He named Tronchet and Target as his advo- 
cates, but the latter dastardly refused the perilous but 
honourable office ; and the vacancy occasioned by his 
baseness was nobly filled by the venerable Males- 
herbes, who volunteered to act in his defence, for 
which most honourable action he suffered in after 
days, with nearly his whole family, by the same fatal 
instrument from which he vainly strove to preserve 
his King. 

On the nth of December the King was first 
brought before the Assembly. For more than a month 
the strife between life and death continued ; and on 
the 15th of January, 1793, the voting commenced on 
these three questions : 

1 st. Is Louis Capet guilty of conspiracy against 


liberty and of attempts against the general safety of 
the State? 

2nd. Shall the definitive judgment on Louis be 
referred to the primary assemblies ? 

3rd. What punishment shall be inflicted on Louis ? 

On all these points judgment was pronounced ad- 
verse to the King, the Girondins basely sacrificing 
their opinions, which were in favour of Louis, to their 
personal fears. It is consolatory to know that they 
all shortly followed him down the one dark road which 
must be trodden by the monarch and the slave, by the 
victim and his assassin, and that, too, by the same 
bloody death ; and it is almost painful to consider 
that, by the courage and dignity they showed in their 
last hours, they have in some sort redeemed in popular 
opinion their cowardice and guilt in yielding to the 
bloodthirsty faction who in after days wreaked on 
them the same vengeance which they now voted 
against their guiltless King. 

A majority of fifty-three pronounced for the death 
of this weak man but blameless King — the Duke of 
Orleans, his near kinsman, among the number. All 
efforts to obtain a reconsideration, a reference or 
delay were fruitless ; the majority were bent on death, 
and " the Executive Council was charged with the 
melancholy commission of carrying the sentence into 
execution. All the ministers were assembled in the 
hall where they met, and they were struck with con- 
sternation. Garat, as Minister of Justice, had the most 
painful of all tasks imposed upon him, that of acquaint- 
ing Louis XVI. with the decrees of the Convention. 
He repaired to the Temple, accompanied by Santerre, 


by a deputation of the commune and the criminal tri- 
bunal and by the secretary of the Executive Council. 
Louis XVI. had been for four days expecting his de- 
fenders and applying in vain to see them. On the 
20th of January, at two in the afternoon, he was still 
awaiting them, when all at once he heard the sound of 
a numerous party. He stepped forward and perceived 
the envoys of the Executive Council. He stopped 
with dignity at the door of his apartment, apparently 
unmoved. Garat then told him sorrowfully that he 
was commissioned to communicate to him the decrees 
of the Convention. Grouvelle, secretary of the Exe- 
cutive Council, read them to him. The first declared 
Louis XVI. guilty of treason against the general 
safety of the State ; the second condemned him to 
death ; the third rejected any appeal to the people ; 
and the fourth and last ordered his execution in 
twenty-four hours. Louis looked calmly around upon 
all those who were about him, took the paper from 
the hand of Grouvelle, put it in his pocket, and read 
Garat a letter in which he demanded from the Con- 
vention three days to prepare for death, a confessor 
to assist him in his last moments, liberty to see his 
family, and permission for them to leave France. 
Garat took the letter, promising to submit it imme- 
diately to the Convention. The King gave him at 
the same time the address of the ecclesiastic whose 
spiritual assistance he wished to have in his last 

" Louis XVI. went back into his room with great 
composure, ordered his dinner, and ate as usual. 
There were no knives on the table, and his attendants 


refused to let him have any. ' Do they think me so 
weak,' he exclaimed, ' as to lay violent hands on 
myself? I am innocent, and I am not afraid to die.' 
He was obliged to dispense with a knife. On finish- 
ing his repast he returned to his apartment and 
calmly awaited the answer to his letter. 

" The Convention refused the delay, but granted 
all the other demands which he had made. Garat 
sent for Edgeworth de Firmont, the ecclesiastic whom 
Louis XVI. had chosen, and took him in his own 
carriage to the Temple. He arrived there at six 
o'clock, and went to the great Tower, accompanied by 
Santerre. He informed the King that the Convention 
allowed him to have a minister and to see his family 
alone, but that it rejected the application for delay. 
Garat added that M. Edgeworth had arrived, that he 
was in the council-room, and should be introduced. 
He then retired, more astonished and more touched 
than ever by the calm magnanimity of the Prince." 

In the whole history of the world there is, perhaps, 
no sadder scene than the meeting of Louis with his 
family, from whom he had been so barbarously and 
so unnecessarily separated during the dreadful crisis 
of his fate — separated solely, as it would appear, for 
the hideous purpose of depriving him of any consola- 
tion, and rendering his last hours as miserable as 
they could be rendered. That meeting was but pre- 
paratory to an immediate and eternal separation. A 
single day's delay had been refused him ; and on the 
evening of the very day on which his sentence was 
announced to him, the eve of his last earthly morrow, 
the following scene occurred, which shook even the 


hearts of the stern and savage functionaries who 
beheld it. Again we quote from Clery : 

" At eight o'clock the King came out of his closet, 
and desired the municipal officers to conduct him to 
his family. They replied that could not be, but his 
family should be brought down if he desired it. ' Be 
it so,' said His Majesty ; and accordingly, at half- 
past eight, the door opened, and his wife and children 
made their appearance. They all threw themselves 
into the arms of the King. A melancholy silence pre- 
vailed for some minutes, only broken by sighs and sobs. 
The Queen made an inclination towards His Majesty's 
chamber. ' No,' said the King, ' we must go into 
this room ; I can only see you there.' They went 
in, and I shut the glass door. The King sat down ; 
the Queen was on his left hand, Madame Elizabeth 
on his right, Madame Royale nearly opposite, and 
the young Prince stood between his legs. All were 
leaning on the King, and often pressed him to their 
arms. This scene of sorrow lasted an hour and 
three-quarters, during which it was impossible to 
hear anything. It could, however, be seen that after 
every sentence uttered by the King, the agitation 
of the Queen and Princesses increased, lasted some 
minutes, and then the King began to speak again. 
It was plain from their gestures that they received 
from himself the first intelligence of his condemna- 
tion. At a quarter-past ten the King rose first ; they 
all followed. I opened the door. The Queen held 
the King by his right arm ; their Majesties gave 
each a hand to the Dauphin. Madame Royale, on 
the King's left, had her arms round his body ; and 


behind her Madame Elizabeth, on the same side, had 
taken his arm. They advanced some steps towards 
the entry door, breaking out into the most agonising 
lamentations. ' I assure you,' said the King, ' that 
I will see you again to-morrow morning at eight 
o'clock.' 'You promise,' said they all together. 'Yes, 
I promise.' ' Why not at seven o'clock ? ' asked the 
Queen. ' Well — yes, at seven,' replied the King ; 
' farewell ! ' He pronounced ' farewell ' in so impres- 
sive a manner that their sobs were renewed, and 
Madame Royale fainted at the feet of the King, 
round whom she had clung. His Majesty, willing 
to put an end to this agonising scene, once more 
embraced them all most tenderly, and had the re- 
solution to tear himself from their arms. ' Farewell ! 
farewell ! ' said he, and went into his chamber. The 
Queen, Princesses and Dauphin returned to their 
own apartments ; and though both the doors were 
shut, their screams and lamentations were heard for 
some time on the stairs. The King went back to 
his confessor in the turret closet." 

On the following morning, pursues Clery : 
" On hearing five o'clock strike, I began to light 
the fire. The noise I made awoke the King, who, 
drawing his curtains, asked if it had struck five. I 
said it had by several clocks, but not yet by that in 
the apartment. Having finished with the fire, I went 
to his bedside. ' I have slept soundly,' said His Majesty, 
' and I stood in need of it ; yesterday was a trying day 
to me. Where is M. Edgeworth?' I answered, 'On 
my bed.' ' And where were you all night ? ' 'On this 
chair.' 'I am sorry for it,' said the King, and gave 


me his hand, at the same time tenderly pressing mine. 
I then dressed His Majesty, who, as soon as he was 
ready, bade me go and call M. Edgeworth, whom 
I found already risen, and he immediately attended the 
King to the turret. Meanwhile, I placed a chest of 
drawers in the middle of the chambers, and arranged 
it in the form of an altar for saying Mass. The neces- 
sary articles of dress had been brought at two o'clock 
in the morning. The priest's garments I carried into 
my chamber, and when everything was ready I went 
and informed His Majesty. He had a book in his 
hand, which he opened, and finding the place of the 
Mass, gave it me ; he then took another book for 
himself. The priest meanwhile was dressing. Before 
the altar I had placed an arm-chair for His Majesty, 
with a large cushion on the ground; the cushion he 
desired me to take away, and went himself to his closet 
for a smaller one, made of hair, which he commonly 
used at his prayers. When the priest came in, the 
municipal officer retired into the ante-chamber, and 
I shut one fold of the door. The Mass began at six 
o'clock. There was profound silence during the awful 
ceremony. The King, all the time on his knees, heard 
Mass with the most devout attention, and received 
the Communion. After the service he withdrew to 
his closet, and the priest went into my chamber to 
put off his official attire. 

" In the course of the morning the King said to 
me, ' You will give this seal to my son, and this ring 
to the Queen, and assure her that it is with pain I part 
with it. This little packet contains locks of the hair of 
all my family ; you will give her that also. Tell the 
vol. 11 17 


Queen, my dear sister and my children that, although 
I promised to see them again this morning, I have 
resolved to spare them the pang of so cruel a separa- 
tion. Tell them how much it costs me to go away 
without receiving their embraces once more ! ' He 
wiped away some tears, and then added in the most 
mournful accents, ' I charge you to bear them my 
last farewell.' 

" All the troops in Paris had been under arms from 
five o'clock in the morning. The beat of drums, the 
sound of trumpets, the clash of arms, the trampling 
of horses, the removal of cannon, which were inces- 
santly carried from one place to another— all resounded 
in the tower. At half-past eight o'clock the noise 
increased ; the doors were thrown open with great 
clatter, and Santerre, accompanied by seven or eight 
municipal officers, entered at the head of ten soldiers, 
and drew them up in two lines. At this movement 
the King came out of his closet, and said to Santerre, 
• You are come for me ? ' ' Yes,' was the answer. 
' Wait a moment,' said His Majesty, and went into 
his closet, whence he instantly returned, followed by 
his confessor. I was standing behind the King, near 
the fireplace. He turned round to me, and I offered 
him his great-coat. ' I shall not want it,' said he ; 
' give me only my hat.' I presented it to him, and 
his hand met mine, which he pressed for the last 
time. His Majesty then looked at Santerre and said, 
1 Lead on.' These were the last words he spoke in 
his apartments." 

" On quitting the tower," says the Abbe Edgeworth, 
" the King crossed the first court, formerly the garden, 


on foot ; he turned back once or twice towards the 
tower, as if to bid adieu to all most dear to him on 
earth; and by his gestures it was plain that he was 
trying to collect all his strength and firmness. At 
the entrance of the second court a carriage waited ; 
two gendarmes held the door; at the King's approach 
one of these men entered first and placed himself in 
front, His Majesty followed and placed me by his side 
at the back of the carriage ; the other gendarme jumped 
in last and shut the door. The procession lasted almost 
two hours ; the streets were lined with citizens, all 
armed ; and the carriage was surrounded by a body of 
troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. 
As soon as the King perceived that the carriage 
stopped, he turned and whispered to me, ' We have 
arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that 
we had. On quitting the vehicle, three guards sur- 
rounded His Majesty, and would have taken off his 
clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness ; he 
undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his 
shirt and arranged it himself. The path leading to 
the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to 
pass ; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and 
from the slowness with which he proceeded I feared 
for a moment that his courage might fail ; but what 
was my astonishment when he arrived at the last step ! 
I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw 
him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole 
scaffold, silence by his look alone fifteen or twenty 
drums that were placed opposite to him, and in a 
loud voice heard him pronounce distinctly these 
memorable words : ' I die innocent of all the crimes 

17 — 2 


laid to my charge ; I pardon those who have occasioned 
my death, and I pray to God that the blood which 
you are now going to shed may never be visited on 
France.' He was proceeding, when a man on horse- 
back, in the national uniform, waved his sword and 
ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the 
same time heard encouraging the executioners, who 
immediately seized the King with violence, and dragged 
him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one 
stroke severed his head from his body." 

It was on Monday, the 21st of January, 1793. His 
age was thirty-eight years, four months and twenty - 
eight days. 

Of the sorrows of the Royal Family during that 
fatal day the Duchess of Angouleme gives the follow- 
ing brief statement. Whose heart will not sympathise 
with the griefs of these noble mourners, three out of 
the four of whom were so soon to follow to the tomb 
the adored and faithful husband, the beloved brother, 
the pious and devoted father ? 

" On the morning of this terrible day the Princesses 
rose at six o'clock. The Queen the night before had 
scarcely strength enough to put her son to bed. She 
threw herself dressed as she was upon her own bed, 
where she remained shivering with cold and grief 
all night long ! At a quarter past six the door 
opened ; the Princesses believed they were sent for 
to see the King, but it was only the officers looking 
for a prayer-book for his Mass. They did not, how- 
ever, abandon the hope of seeing him till the shouts 
of joy of the unprincipled populace announced to them 
that all was over." 


It has been said that, as the axe fell, the Abbe 
Edgeworth took leave of the King in the following 
memorable words : " Son of St. Louis, ascend to 
heaven ! " but on being questioned in after days, he 
declared himself unconscious of anything that passed 
relative to himself at that awful moment. 

Alison informs us that after this legalised murder 
of a good King and pious man, whose only faults 
were an amiable weakness and an over-regard for 
the lives of a wicked and ungrateful people, " One 
person actually tasted the blood, with a brutal ex- 
clamation that it was ' shockingly bitter,' and the 
hair and pieces of the dress were sold by the 
attendants. No strong emotion was evinced at the 
moment ; the place was like a fair ; but, a few days 
after, Paris, and those who had voted for the death 
of the monarch, began to feel serious and uneasy at 
what they had done. 

" The body of Louis was, immediately after the 
execution, removed into the ancient cemetery of the 
Madeleine. Large quantities of quicklime were thrown 
into the grave, which occasioned so rapid a decompo- 
sition that, when his remains were sought after in 
1 81 5, it was with great difficulty that any part could 
be recovered. Over the spot where he was interred 
Napoleon commenced the splendid Temple of Glory, 
after the battle of Jena, and the superb edifice was 
completed by the Bourbons, and now forms the church 
of the Madeleine, the most beautiful of the many 
beautiful structures in Paris. Louis was executed on 
the same ground where the Queen, the Princess 
Elizabeth and so many other noble victims of the 


Revolution perished, where Robespierre and Danton 
afterwards suffered, and where the Emperor Alexander 
and the allied Sovereigns took their station when their 
victorious troops entered Paris in 1814! The history 
of modern Europe has not a scene fraught with equally 
interesting recollections to exhibit. It is now marked 
by the colossal obelisk of blood-red granite which was 
brought from Thebes, in Upper Egypt, in 1833 by the 
French Government." 

Thus ends the first act of the horrid tragedy — 
never, we trust, to be repeated — the second of which 
was the slaughter of all the prisoners save one, and 
the denouement, the terrible retribution wrought on 
the guilty nation during the devastating wars of that 
Child of the Revolution, Napoleon the Emperor, in 
the course of which three millions of native Frenchmen 
fattened the plains of foreign countries by their gore, 
and the final subjugation of France and occupation 
of the regicidal capital by the descendants of the 
Saxon, the Goth, the Vandal and the Hun, whom 
the " grande nation" ever regarded with such con- 
temptuous loathing. 

Verily a great lesson to guilty nations, that their 
retribution is in this world ; and that, in the words of 
the old tragedian, " Crime begets crime, and of guilt, 
Guilt is for ever the avenger." 




Increased sufferings of the Royal Family after the execution of 
Louis XVI. — Extract from Thiers' History — The Dauphin 
committed to the care of Simon, the shoemaker — Separation of 
the Family — Marie Antoinette committed to the Conciergerie 
— Her privations — She is brought before the revolutionary 
tribunal — Accusations against her — Her conviction — Execution 
— Joy of the Jacobins — Execution of Madame Elizabeth — 
Extract from the Memoirs of the Duchess d'Angouleme ; from 
Alison — Death of the Dauphin — Release of his sister — 
Successors of Louis XVI. 

After the decapitation of the Sixteenth Louis 
some weary months elapsed, during which the con- 
dition of the hapless survivors of that most unfortunate 
of kings gradually but continually deteriorated ; they 
were stripped one by one of every resource that might 
tend to cheer or alleviate the sad monotony of con- 
finement, and they were now to endure the last 
extremities to which the fury of their persecutors 
could subject them. The only comfort still left to 
them was that of living together, and that was 
speedily taken from them. 

A part of the enormities which they endured are 
thus described by one whose known partiality for the 
Revolution and tenderness toward the motives and 


memories of its worst monsters — such as Robespierre, 
Petion, and Fouche — are too well known to require 
comment, and who in consequence deserves implicit 
confidence when he feels compelled to state anything 
against them — we allude of course to the celebrated 
author of the " History of the French Revolution " 
and the " History of the Consulate and Empire." 

" That wretch Hebert, the deputy of Chaumette, 
editor of the disgusting paper Pere Duchesne, and a 
writer of the party of which Vincent, Ronsin, Varlet 
and Leclerc were the leaders, had made it his par- 
ticular business to torment the unfortunate remnant 
of the dethroned family. He asserted that the family of 
the tyrant ought not to be better treated than any 
sans-culotte family ; and he had caused a resolution to 
be passed, by which the sort of luxury in which the 
prisoners in the Temple were maintained was to be 
suppressed. They were no longer to be allowed either 
poultry or pastry ; they were reduced to one sort of 
aliment for breakfast, and to soup, or broth, and a 
single dish for dinner, to two dishes for supper, and 
half a bottle of wine apiece. Tallow candles were to be 
furnished instead of wax, pewter instead of silver plate, 
and Delft ware instead of porcelain. The wood and 
water carriers alone were permitted to enter their room, 
and that only accompanied by two commissioners. 
Their food was to be introduced to them by means 
of a turning box. The numerous establishment was 
reduced to a cook and an assistant, two men-servants, 
and a woman-servant to attend to the linen. 

" As soon as this resolution was passed, Hebert 
repaired to the Temple, and inhumanly deprived 


the unfortunate prisoners of even the most trifling 
articles to which they attached a high value. Eighty 
louis which Madame Elizabeth had in reserve, and 
which she had received from Madame de Lamballe, 
were also taken away. No one is more dangerous 
and more cruel than the man without acquirements, 
without education, clothed in the garb of authority. 
If, above all, he possesses a base nature ; if, like 
Hebert, who was checktaker at the door of a theatre 
and embezzled money out of the receipts, he be desti- 
tute of natural morality ; and if he leaps all at once from 
the mud of his condition into power, he is as mean 
as he is atrocious. Such was Hebert in his conduct at 
the Temple. He did not confine himself to the annoy- 
ances which we have mentioned, but with some others 
conceived the idea of separating the young Prince from 
his aunt and sister. A shoemaker, named Simon, and 
his wife were the instructors to whom it was deemed 
right to consign him, for the purpose of giving him a 
sans-culotte education. Simon and his wife were shut up 
in the Temple, and, becoming prisoners with the unfor- 
tunate child, were directed to bring him up in their 
own way. Their food was better than that of the 
Princesses, and they shared the table of the municipal 
commissioners who were on duty. Simon was per- 
mitted to go down, accompanied by two commis- 
sioners, to the court of the Temple, for the purpose 
of giving him a little exercise." 

This wretch Simon, to whom was entrusted the 
care of the miserable child, who, born to so high 
promise, speedily fell to so sad a reality, is described 
in these words by Clery — and no person can doubt 


that it was for his brutal qualities alone, and the cer- 
tainty that he would exercise them to the utmost for 
the torture of his captives, that he was indebted for his 
situation as gaoler and tutor to the infant hitherto so 
sedulously nurtured : 

"A man named Simon, a shoemaker and municipal 
officer, was one of the six commissioners appointed 
to inspect the works and the expenses of the Temple. 
This man, whenever he appeared in the presence of 
the Royal Family, always treated them with the vilest 
insolence ; and would frequently say to me, so near the 
King as to be heard by him, ' Clery, ask Capet if he 
wants anything, that I mayn't have the trouble of 
coming up twice.' " 

On the 3rd of July, however, even the last wretched 
consolation of suffering in common was thought too 
great a boon by the wretches who composed the 
National Convention of France, for those who had 
committed no offence toward God or against man ; 
unless it be a crime — as assuredly it seems a mis- 
fortune — to be born to elevated station. 

A decree was passed on that day that the young 
Dauphin or King should be torn from the arms of 
his mother. Marie Antoinette struggled against the 
efforts of the officers, who would literally have forced 
him violently from her embrace, until threatened by 
those fiends — for men they cannot be called — that they 
would kill both him and her daughter before her eyes. 
She released him — never to see him on earth again— 
in an agony of tenderness and grief so touching that 
even her iron gaolers melted and, according to their 
own confession, wept. 


They wept at sufferings which they themselves 
had enhanced, if not actually created, and which 
they still persisted in enhancing to the utmost of 
their ability, so strangely inconsistent is French — if 
we should not rather say, human — nature. 

With the child, for the present, we have done ; 
choosing rather to present the sad tale of the Queen's 
last days in an unbroken thread, than to interrupt 
them in order to treat of other matters which can 
in another place be more fitly treated. 

For one month longer she was suffered to remain 
with her sister-in-law, Madame Elizabeth, and her 
daughter Madame Royale ; but on the 2nd of August 
she was separated from these also, and consigned 
to the common prison of the Conciergerie, as the 
subject of her trial, or summary condemnation, was 
already in contemplation. She was then, as we 
learn from Du Broza, " lodged in a room called the 
council chamber, which was considered the most un- 
wholesome apartment in the Conciergerie, on account 
of its dampness and the bad smells by which it 
was continually affected. Under pretence of giving 
her a person to wait upon her, they placed near 
her a spy — a man of a horrible countenance and 
hollow, sepulchral voice. This wretch, whose name 
was Barassin, was a robber and murderer by pro- 
fession. Such was the chosen attendant on the 
Queen of France ! A few days before her trial 
this wretch was removed, and a gendarme placed 
in her chamber, who watched over her night and 
day, and from whom she was not separated, even 
when in bed, but by a ragged curtain. In this 


melancholy abode Marie Antoinette had no other 
dress than an old black gown, stockings with holes, 
which she was forced to mend every day ; and she 
was entirely destitute of shoes." 

The only furniture in this miserable cell was a 
straw bed covered by a ragged mattress and an old 
worn-out coverlet, and the veriest necessaries and 
decencies of life were denied to the woman, in which 
light at least, if not even as the Princess, she was 
entitled to them. 

But what were all bodily sufferings compared to 
the mental tortures which she must have endured. 
She, the fairest and most favoured Princess of the 
proudest and most ancient House of Europe, that 
great House of Hapsburg, which had for so many 
centuries filled the Imperial throne of the West — 
who had exchanged those maiden honours only to 
become the bride of the most powerful king in 
Europe ! 

Yet mental sufferings and bodily afflictions served 
only to bring forth the native dignity and firmness 
of her virtue. If she had failed somewhat of the 
highest standard while seated on the pinnacle of 
human splendour and magnificence, she soared even 
above it from the squalor and obscenity of her foul 
prison-house. If not in all things equal to pros- 
perity, she proved herself superior to the direst 

Her serene dignity, her proud self-possession, her 
majestic mildness, awed those whom it could not 
move. Yet let it be recorded that it did move 
Robespierre, for so deep need has that monstrous 


blot on the escutcheon of humanity of one redeeming 
trait, that it must be recorded of him that he did 
strive to avert the trial, tantamount to the con- 
demnation, of the Queen. His resistance was, how- 
ever, of no avail ; he was overpowered by a huge 
majority, and the trial of the Queen was decided. 
Accordingly, on the 14th of October, she was led 
before the revolutionary tribunal. 

At first the Queen, consulting her own sense of 
dignity, had resolved at her trial to make no other 
reply to the question of her judges than, " Assassi- 
nate me, as you have already assassinated my 
husband ! " Afterwards she determined to follow the 
example of the King, exert herself in her defence, 
and leave her judges without any excuse or pretext 
for putting her to death. 

The revolutionary tribunal had determined to 
sacrifice the Queen ; but still even they " felt it 
necessary," as Thiers states, " to produce witnesses. 
Lecointre, deputy of Versailles, who had seen what 
had passed on the 5th and 6th of October ; Hebert, 
who had frequently visited the Temple ; various clerks 
in the ministerial offices, and several domestic ser- 
vants of the old Court were summoned. Admiral 
d'Estaing, formerly commandant of the guard of Ver- 
sailles; Manuel, the ex-procureur of the commune; 
Latour du Pin, Minister of War in 1789 ; the vener- 
able Bailly, who it was said had been, with La Fayette, 
an accomplice in the journey to Varennes ; lastly, 
Valaze, one of the Girondins destined to the scaffold, 
were taken from their prisons and compelled to give 


" No precise fact was elicited. Some had seen the 
Queen in high spirits when the life-guards testified 
their attachment ; others had seen her vexed and 
dejected while being conducted to Paris or brought 
back from Varennes ; these had been present at 
splendid festivities which must have cost enormous 
sums; those had heard it said in the ministerial 
offices that the Queen was adverse to the sanction 
of the decrees. An ancient waiting-woman of the 
Queen had heard the Duke de Coigny say, in 1788, 
that the Emperor had already received two hundred 
millions from France to make war upon the Turks. 

"The cynical Hebert, being brought before the 
unfortunate Queen, dared at length to prefer the 
charges wrung from the young Prince. He said that 
Charles Capet had given Simon an account of the 
journey to Varennes, and mentioned La Fayette and 
Bailly as having co-operated in it. He then added 
that this boy was addicted to odious and very pre- 
mature vices for his age ; that he had been surprised 
by Simon, who, on questioning him, learned that he 
derived from his mother the vices in which he in- 
dulged. Hebert said that it was no doubt the 
intention of Marie Antoinette, by weakening thus 
early the physical constitution of her son, to secure 
to herself the means of ruling him in case he should 
ever ascend the throne. 

"The rumours which had been whispered for 
twenty years by a malicious Court had given the 
people a most unfavourable opinion of the morals of 
the Queen. That audience, however, though wholly 
Jacobin, was disgusted at the accusations of Hebert. 


He nevertheless persisted in asserting them. The 
unhappy mother made no reply. Urged anew to 
explain herself, she said with extraordinary emotion, 
' I thought that human nature would excuse me from 
answering such an imputation ; but I appeal from it 
to the heart of every mother here present.' This 
noble and simple reply affected all who heard it. In 
the depositions of the witnesses, however, all was not 
so bitter for Marie Antoinette. The brave D'Estaing, 
whose enemy she had been, would not say anything to 
inculpate her, and spoke only of the courage which she 
had shown on the 5th and 6th of October, and of the 
noble resolution which she had expressed to die beside 
her husband rather than fly. Manuel, in spite of his 
enmity to the Court during the time of the Legis- 
lative Assembly, declared that he could not say any- 
thing against the accused. When the venerable Bailly 
was brought forward, who formerly had so often 
predicted to the Court the calamities which its im- 
prudence must produce, he appeared painfully affected ; 
and when he was asked if he knew the wife of Capet, 
' Yes,' said he, bowing respectfully, ' I have known 
Madame.'' He declared that he knew nothing, and 
maintained that the declarations extorted from the 
young Prince relative to the journey to Varennes 
were false. In recompense for his deposition he was 
assailed with outrageous reproaches, from which he 
might judge what fate would soon be awarded to 

" In the whole of the evidence there appeared 
but two serious facts, attested by Latour du Pin and 
Valaze, who deposed to them because they could not 


help it. Latour du Pin declared that Marie Antoinette 
had applied to him for an accurate statement of the 
armies while he was War Minister. Valaze, always 
cold but respectful towards misfortune, would not say 
anything. to incriminate the accused, yet he could not 
help declaring that, as a member of the Commission 
of Twenty-Four, being charged with his colleagues to 
examine the papers found at the house of Septeuil, 
treasurer of the Civil List, he had seen bonds for 
various sums signed 'Antoinette,' which was very 
natural ; but he added that he had also seen a letter 
in which the minister requested the King to transmit 
to the Queen the copy of the plan of campaign which 
he had in his hands. The most unfavourable con- 
struction was immediately put upon these two facts — 
the application for a statement of the armies, and the 
communication of the plan of campaign ; and it was 
concluded that they could not be wanted for any 
other purpose than to be sent to the enemy, for it was 
not supposed that a young Princess should turn her 
attention, merely for her own satisfaction, to matters 
of administration and military plans. After these de- 
positions several others were received respecting the 
expenses of the Court, the influence of the Queen in 
public affairs, the scene of the 10th of August, and 
what had passed in the Temple ; and the most vague 
rumours, and most trivial circumstances were eagerly 
caught as proofs. 

"Marie Antoinette frequently repeated, with pre- 
sence of mind and firmness, that there was no precise 
fact against her ; that besides, though the wife of 
Louis XVI., she was not answerable for any of the 


acts of his reign. Fouquier nevertheless declared her 
to be sufficiently convicted ; Chaveau-Lagarde made 
unavailing efforts to defend her ; and the unfortunate 
Queen was condemned to suffer the same fate as her 

" Conveyed back to the Conciergerie, she there 
passed the night preceding her execution in tolerable 
composure, and on the morning of the following day, 
the 1 6th of October, 1 she was conducted, amidst a 
great concourse of the populace, to the fatal spot 
where, ten months before, Louis XVI. had perished. 
She listened with calmness to the exhortations of the 
ecclesiastic who accompanied her, and cast an in- 
different look at the people who had so often ap- 
plauded her beauty and her grace, and who now as 
warmly applauded her execution. On reaching the 
foot of the scaffold she perceived the Tuileries, and 
appeared to be moved ; but she hastened to ascend 
the fatal ladder, and gave herself up with courage to 
the executioner. 2 The infamous wretch exhibited her 

1 "At four o'clock in the morning of the day of her execu- 
tion, the Queen wrote a letter to the Princess Elizabeth. ' To 
you, my sister,' said she, ' I address myself for the last time. I 
have been condemned, not to an ignominious death — it is so 
only to the guilty — but to rejoin your brother. I weep only for 
my children ; I hope that one day, when they have regained 
their rank, they may be reunited to you, and feel the blessing 
of your tender care. May my son never forget the last words of 
his father, which I now repeat from myself — Never attempt to 
revenge our death. I die true to the Catholic religion. De- 
prived of all spiritual consolation, I can only seek for pardon 
from Heaven. I ask forgiveness of all who know me. I pray 
for forgiveness to all my enemies.' " — Alison. 

2 "Sorrow had blanched the Queen's once beautiful hair; 
but her features and demeanour still commanded the admiration 
of all who beheld her. Her cheeks, pale and emaciated, were oc- 
casionally tinged with a vivid colour at the mention of those she 
had lost. When led out to execution, she was dressed in white, 

VOL. II l8 


head to the people, as he was accustomed to do when 
he had sacrificed an illustrious victim." 

The Jacobins were overjoyed. " Let these tidings 
be carried to Austria," said they. " The Romans sold 
the ground occupied by Annibal ; we strike off the 
heads that are dearest to the Sovereigns who have 
invaded our territory." 

It is a little remarkable — or, perhaps, we should 
say, not a little remarkable — that all the Girondins 
who signed and sealed their own just condemnation, 
by their signing and sealing the unjust condemnation 
of Louis, shortly followed her to the same scaffold. 

We know not wherefore Carlyle, who so detests 
all human weakness, defends and shrieks, as he would 
term it, over the weakness and the guillotining of 
the murderers, Vergniaud, Valaze and their confe- 
derates, while he has no shriek for their murdered 

It was not until the 22nd of April following that, 
after the Girondins, after Danton himself and others 
of the Mountain, had been decapitated — some weeping, 
some bellowing, all blaspheming — by the hands of the 
impassive Samson, the King's surviving sister, Madame 
Elizabeth, was sent to death. 

" Her trial," says Carlyle, " was like the rest ; for 
plots, for plots. She was among the kindliest, most 
innocent of women. There sat with her, amid four- 

she had cut off her hair with her own hands. Placed in a 
tumbrel, with her arms tied behind her, she was taken by a 
circuitous route to the Place de la Revolution, and she ascended 
the scaffold with a firm and dignified step, as if she had been 
about to take her place on a throne by the side of her husband." 
— Lacretelle. 


and-twenty others, a once timorous Marchioness de 
Crussol ; courageous now ; expressing towards her 
the liveliest loyalty. At the foot of the scaffold, 
Elizabeth, with tears in her eyes, thanked this 
Marchioness; said she was grieved she could not 
reward her. • Ah, Madame, would your Royal 
Highness deign to embrace me my wishes were 
complete.' ' Right willingly, Madame de Crussol, 
and with all my heart.' Thus they at the foot of 
the scaffold. The Royal Family are now reduced 
to two ; a girl and a little boy. This boy, once 
named Dauphin, was taken from his mother while 
she yet lived, and given to one Simon, by trade a 
cordwainer on service then about the Temple, to 
bring him up in the principles of Sansculottism." 

From Carlyle we will quote no further, for in 
this very passage which he begins so nobly and 
'pathetically, before the end he degenerates into his 
usual Pantagruelistic cynicism, and grins and sneers 
like a hyena over the corpse of fallen Royalty. 
What right has he to pretend to the title of 
philosopher who, puissant to destroy, is powerless 
to build up ; who, the habitual admirer of strong 
vice and derider of innocent weakness, has no plan 
or counsel for giving power to innocence or de- 
priving strength of its vice ? 

Two very brief extracts, one from the Memoirs of 
the Duchess d'Angouleme, the other from the pages 
of Alison, sum up this brief and sad tale : 

" The young Prince was taken to that part of the 
Tower which Louis XVI. had previously occupied; 
and the manner in which Simon educated him may 

18 — 2 


be judged by the statement of his sister (afterwards 
the Duchess d'Angouleme), in her interesting history 
of the confinement of the Royal Family. She says : 
' We sometimes received intelligence of my brother 
through the municipal officers, but even that did 
not last long. We heard him every day singing, in 
company with Simon, the song of " La Carmagnole," 
the " Marseillaise Hymn," and a thousand other horrible 
compositions of the sort. Simon dressed him in a red 
cap and a carmagnole (a small tight jacket), and made 
him sing at the windows so as to be heard by the 
guard, and taught him to utter the most dreadful 
blasphemies and curses against God, his family and 
the aristocrats. . . . Simon gave him the coarsest 
food to eat, and made him by force drink a quantity 
of wine, which he naturally detested.' " 

"The 9th of Thermidor came too late to save the 
infant King of France, Louis XVII. His gaoler, Simon, 
was indeed beheaded, and a less cruel tyrant substituted 
in his place ; but the temper of the times would 
not at first admit of any decided measures of in- 
dulgence in favour of the heir to the throne. The 
barbarous treatment he had experienced from Simon 
had alienated his reason, but not extinguished his 
feelings of gratitude. On one occasion that inhuman 
wretch had seized him by the hair and threatened 
to dash his head against the wall ; the surgeon, 
Naulin, interfered to prevent him, and the child 
next day presented him with two pears which had 
been given him for his supper the preceding evening, 
lamenting at the same time that he had no other 
means of testifying his gratitude. Simon and Hebert 


had put him to the torture to extract from him an 
avowal of crimes connected with his mother which he 
was too young to understand ; after that cruel day he 
almost always preserved silence lest his words should 
prove fatal to some of his relations. This resolution, 
and the closeness of his confinement, soon preyed upon 
his health. In February, 1795, he was seized with 
a fever, and visited by three members of the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety ; they found him seated at a 
little table making castles of cards. They addressed 
him with words of kindness, but could not obtain 
any answer. In May the state of his health became 
so alarming that the celebrated surgeon Desault was 
directed by the Convention to visit him. His generous 
attentions assuaged the sufferings of the child's latter 
days, but could not prolong his life." 

He died of a tumour in the knee, as it was said, 
arising from a scrofulous affection, but in reality from 
the miseries he endured in his confinement, the horrible 
nature of his food and the filth amid which he was 
intentionally forced to live by his tormentors. 

After his death the sufferings of his sister gradually 
diminished ; she was detained in prison, indeed, but 
was treated with some sort of humanity and decorum, 
not as a wild beast, but as a woman, if not as a 

It was at length agreed with Austria that she 
should be released from captivity and placed in the 
hands of that Power, in exchange for the deputies 
placed in her hands by Dumouriez, as also La Fayette 
and his associates. She was removed from the Temple 
on the 19th of December, 1795. The Minister of the 


Interior himself went to fetch her, and conducted her 
with the greatest respect to his own hotel, whence 
she set out accompanied by persons of her own 
selection. An ample provision was made for her 
journey, and she was thus conveyed to the frontiers. 

She afterwards married her cousin, the Duke 
d'Angouleme, and obtained by her conduct at Bor- 
deaux, in 1815, the highest praise for her courage. 
Napoleon is said to have observed with regard to her 
that " she was the only man in the family." 

By the death of the child Dauphin, otherwise 
Louis XVII., the crown hereditary of France devolved 
on the head of the Count of Provence, who became, 
on the Restoration in 1815, King Louis XVIII. of 
France. On his death without heirs male he was 
succeeded by his brother, Charles X., who lost his 
throne in the three days of July, 1830, and subse- 
quently died in exile. 

Thus ends this awful history of crime and sorrow 
— a lesson both to Sovereigns and nations, if either 
would give ear to the teachings of history. But of 
a verity the course of human events, as they occur 
age after age, so similar as almost to seem the 
same, go far to show the truth of the old Roman's 
saying, that " whom God willeth to destroy He first 





There are already so many books that ordinary talents 
for writing are by no means a sufficient excuse for increasing 
the number. Convinced as I am that the mania for publish- 
ing is both censurable and ridiculous, I am far from being 
weak enough to suffer it to affect me ; but destiny having 
formerly placed me near crowned heads, I now amuse my 
solitude with recording a variety of facts which may prove 
interesting to my family when I shall be no more. I have 
already collected all that concerned the domestic life of an 
unfortunate Princess, whose reputation is not yet cleared of 
the stains it suffered from the attacks of calumny, and who 
justly merited a different lot in life, a different place in the 
opinion of mankind after her downfall. These Memoirs, 
which were finished ten years since, have met with the appro- 
bation of some persons ; and my son may, perhaps, think 
proper to print them after my decease. 1 I know not whether 
my Recollections will be thought worthy to see the light ; 
but whilst I am occupied in writing them my mind is 
diverted ; I pass calmer hours ; and I seem removed from 
the melancholy scenes by which I am now surrounded, as 
far as the sensibility of my heart will permit me to forget 
the present. The idea of collecting all the interesting 
materials which my memory affords, occurred to me from 
reading the work entitled " Paris, Versailles and the 
Provinces in the Eighteenth Century." That work, com- 
posed by a man accustomed to the best society, is full of 
piquant anecdotes, nearly all of which have been recognised 

i When Madame Campan wrote these lines, she little thought that 
the death of her son would precede her own. See the Biographical 
Notice of Madame Campan. — Note by the Editor. 


as true by the contemporaries of the author. Such compila- 
tions are at least as valuable as those collections of bons mots 
and puns which were in vogue fifty years ago. They give 
facts ; they introduce personages who have performed dis- 
tinguished parts. They are also, in some degree, capable of 
affording experience, that most valuable acquisition, which 
we gain only by our errors, which age renders almost useless 
and which can be transmitted but very imperfectly. 


Previous to the Revolution there were customs and 
even words in use at Versailles with which few people 
were acquainted. The King's dinner was called the King's 
meat. Two of the body-guard accompanied the attendants 
who carried the dinner ; every one rose as they passed 
through the halls, saying, " There is the King's meat." 
All precautionary duties were distinguished by the words — 
in case. Some chemises and handkerchiefs, kept in readi- 
ness in a basket in the King's or Queen's apartments in 
case Their Majesties should wish to change their linen 
without sending to the wardrobe, constituted the packet 
in case. Their clothes, brought in great baskets, or clothes 
of green taffety, were called the King's or Queen's ready. 
Thus the attendants would ask ; " Is the King's ready 
come?" One of the guards might be heard to say, "I 
am in case in the forest of St. Germain." In the evening 
they always brought the Queen a large bowl of broth, a 
cold roast fowl, one bottle of wine, one of orgeat, one 
of lemonade and some other articles, which were called 
the in case for the night. An old medical gentleman, who 
had been physician in ordinary to Louis XIV., and was 
still living at the time of the marriage of Louis XV., 
told M. Campan's father an anecdote which seems too 
remarkable to have remained unknown ; nevertheless, he 
was an intelligent, honourable man, and incapable of in- 
venting this story. His name was Lafosse. He said, 
that Louis XIV. was informed that the officers of his 
table evinced, in the most disdainful and offensive manner, 
the mortification they felt at being obliged to eat at the 
table of the comptroller of the kitchen along with Moliere, 
valet de chambre to His Majesty, because Moliere had 
performed on the stage ; and that this celebrated author 
consequently declined appearing at that table. Louis XIV., 
determined to put an end to insults which ought never 


to have been offered to one of the greatest geniuses of the 
age, said one morning to Moliere, at the hour of his 
private levee, "They say you live very poorly here, Moliere; 
and that the officers of my chamber do not find you good 
enough to eat with them. Perhaps you are hungry; for 
my part, I awoke with a good appetite this morning ; 
sit down at this table. Serve up my in case for the night 
there." The King, cutting up the fowl and ordering Moliere 
to sit down, then helped him to a wing, at the same 
time taking one for himself, and ordered the persons 
entitled to familiar entrance — that is to say, the most dis- 
tinguished and favourite people at Court — to be admitted. 
'• You see me," said the King to them, " engaged in en- 
tertaining Moliere, whom my valets de chambre do not 
consider sufficiently good company for them." From that 
time Moliere never had occasion to appear at the valets' 
table ; the whole Court was forward enough to send him 
invitations. 1 

The same M. de Lafosse used also to relate that a 

1 This anecdote is, perhaps, one of the most honourable to the 
character of Louis XIV. that is extant. It is pleasing to see this 
haughty monarch behaving thus graciously to the player Moliere, as 
the author of "Tartuffe" and the "Misanthrope." These are the acts 
by which a truly great Prince knows how to avenge injured genius on 
malignant dulness, and also to reward its labours. 

Louis XV. was also desirous of encouraging literature ; but he was 
only capable of affording it a cold and supercilious protection, un- 
accompanied by any demonstration of grace, affability or kindness, and 
more humiliating than obliging. 

In the entertaining Memoirs of Madame du Hausset, one of Madame 
de Pompadour's femvtes de chambre, we meet with the following passage: 

"The King, who admired all that was connected with the age of 
Louis XIV., recollecting that the Boileaus and Racines had been pro- 
tected by him, and that part of the splendour of that reign was attributed 
to his own, was flattered with the idea that a Voltaire flourished in his 
own Court ; but he feared that author, and did not esteem him. He 
could not, however, help saying, 'I have treated him as well as 
Louis XIV. behaved to Racine and Boileau ; I gave him the place of 
gentleman in ordinary, and a pension, as Louis XIV. did to Racine. If 
he is presumptuous enough to aim at being a chamberlain, wearing 
a cross and supping with the King, it is not my fault. It is not the 
fashion in France ; and as there are more wits and great lords here than 
in Prussia, I should have occasion for an immense table to entertain 
them all together.' He then counted on his fingers: ' Maupertuis, Fon- 
tenelle, La Motte, Voltaire, Piron, Destouches, Montesquieu, Cardinal 
de Polignac.' ' Your Majesty forgets,' said someone, ' D'Alembert and 
Clairault.' ' And Crebillon,' said he, ' and La Chaussee.' ' Crebillon, 
the son,' said another, ' who must be more agreeable than his father ; 
and there is the Abbe Prevot and the Abbe Olivet.' ' Very well,' said 
the King, 'all these people would have dined or supped with me for the 
last five-and-twenty years.' " 


brigade-major of the body-guard, being ordered to place 
the company in the little theatre at the Palace of Versailles, 
very roughly turned out one of the King's comptrollers, who 
had taken his seat on one of the benches, a place to which 
his newly-acquired office entitled him. In vain he insisted 
on his quality and his right. The altercation was ended by 
the brigade-major in these words, " Gentlemen body-guards, 
do your duty." In this case their duty was to take the man 
and put him out at the door. This comptroller, who had 
paid sixty or eighty thousand francs for his place, was a man 
of a good family, and had had the honour of serving His 
Majesty five-and-twenty years in one of his regiments. Thus 
disgracefully driven out of the hall, he placed himself in the 
King's way, in the great hall of the guards, and, bowing to 
His Majesty, requested him to repair the honour of an old 
soldier, who had wished to end his days in his Prince's civil 
employment, now that age had obliged him to relinquish his 
military service. The King stopped, heard the tale he told 
in accents of grief and truth, and then ordered him to follow 
him. His Majesty attended the representation in a sort of 
amphitheatre, in which his armchair was placed. Behind 
him was a row of stools for the captain of the guards, the 
first gentlemen of the chamber and other great officers. The 
brigade-major was entitled to one of these places. The King 
stopped opposite the seat which ought to have been occupied 
by that officer, and said to the comptroller, " Take, sir, for 
this evening, the place near my person of him who has 
offended you, and let the expression of my displeasure at this 
unjust affront satisfy you instead of any other reparation." 

During the latter years of the reign of Louis XIV., he 
never went out but in a chair carried by porters, and he 
showed much partiality for a man of the name of d'Aigre- 
mont, one of these porters, who always went in front and 
opened the door of the chair. The slightest preference 
shown by Sovereigns, even to the meanest of their servants, 
never fails to excite observation. 1 The King had done some- 

1 This reflection is justified by an anecdote which was probably 
unknown to the author. People of the very first rank did not disdain 
to descend to the level of D'Aigremont. " Lauzun," says the Duchess 
d'Orleans, in her Memoirs, " sometimes affects stupidity in order to tell 
the people their own with impunity, for he is very malicious. In order to 
make Marshal Tesse feel the impropriety of his familiarity with people 
of the common sort, he called out, in the drawing-room at Marly, 
' Marshal, give me a pinch of snuff; some of your best, such as you 
take in a morning with M. d'Aigremont, the chair-man.' "—Note by 
the Editor. 


thing for this man's numerous family, and frequently talked 
to him. An abbe belonging to the chapel thought proper to 
request D'Aigremont to present a memorial to the King, in 
which he petitioned His Majesty to grant him a benefice. 
Louis XIV. did not approve of the liberty thus taken by his 
chair-man, and said to him, in a very angry tone, " D'Aigre- 
mont, you have been made to do a very unbecoming act, and 
I am sure there must be simony in the case." " No, Sire, 
there is not the least ceremony in the case, I assure you," 
answered the poor man, in great consternation ; " the abbe 
only said he would give me a hundred louis." " D'Aigre- 
mont," said the King, " I forgive you, on account of your 
ignorance and candour. I will give you the hundred louis 
out of my privy purse, but I will discharge you the very next 
time you venture to present a memorial to me." 

Louis XIV. was very kind to those of his servants who 
were nearest his person ; but the moment he assumed his 
Royal deportment those who were most accustomed to see 
him in his domestic character were as much intimidated 
as if they were appearing in his presence for the first time 
in their lives. Some of the members of His Majesty's 
civil household, then called commensalite , enjoying the title 
of equerry and the privileges attached to officers of the 
King's household, had occasion to claim some prerogatives, 
the exercise of which the municipal body of St. Germain, 
where they resided, disputed with them. Being assembled 
in considerable numbers in that town, they obtained the 
consent of the Minister of the Household to allow them to 
send a deputation to the King, and for that purpose chose 
from amongst themselves two of His Majesty's valets de 
chambre named Bazire and Soulaigre. The King's levee being 
over, the deputation of the inhabitants of the town of St. 
Germain was called in. They entered with confidence ; 
the King looked at them, and assumed his imposing attitude. 
Bazire, one of these valets de chambre, was about to speak ; 
but Louis the Great was looking on him. He no longer saw 
the Prince he was accustomed to attend at home ; he was 
intimidated, and could not find words. He recovered, how- 
ever, and began, as usual, with the word Sire. But timidity 
again overpowered him, and finding himself unable to 
recollect the slightest particle of what he came to say, he 
repeated the word Sire several times over, and at length 
concluded by saying, " Sire, here is Soulaigre." Soulaigre, 
who was very angry with Bazire and expected to acquit 
himself much better, then began to speak. But he also, 
after repeating Sire several times, found his embarrassment 
increase upon him until his confusion equalled that of his 
colleague. He therefore ended with " Sire, here is Bazire." 


The King smiled, and answered, " Gentlemen, I have been 
informed of the business upon which you have been deputed 
to wait on me, and I will take care that what is right shall 
be done. I am highly satisfied with the manner in which 
you have fulfilled your functions as deputies." 1 


The first event which made any impression on me in 
my earliest childhood was the attempt of Damiens to assas- 
sinate Louis XV. This occurrence struck me so forcibly 
that the most minute details relating to the confusion and 
grief which prevailed at Versailles on that day seem as 
completely present to my imagination as the most recent 
events. I had dined with my father and mother, in com- 
pany with one of their friends. The drawing-room was 
lighted up with a number of tapers, and four card-tables 
were already occupied, when a friend of the gentleman of 

1 In this pleasantry there is nothing bitter or harsh, as in most of 
those of Louis XV. It leaves only the impression of an agreeable 
piece of wit. Louis XIV. never indulged in an expression capable of 
offending anyone, and his repartees, which were almost always full of 
meaning, often disclose a refined and delicate tact. Generally speak- 
ing, wit, either poignant and caustic or pleasant and lively, has never 
been wanting in the descendants of Henry IV. In the Memoirs of 
Madame de Hausset there is a striking observation by Duclos on this 

" M. Duclos was at Dr. Quesnay's, haranguing with his usual 
warmth. I heard him say to two or three persons, ' The world is always 
unjust towards great men, ministers and princes ; nothing is more 
common than to deny them all claims to wit. A few days ago I 
surprised one of these gentlemen of the infallible brigade by telling 
him that there has been more wit in the House of Bourbon than in any 
other.' ' Did you prove that?' said someone with a sneer. ' Yes,' said 
Duclos, 'and I will prove it to you. I presume you allow that the 
great Conde was no fool, and the Duchess de Longueville is celebrated 
as one of the most brilliant of women. The Regent was unrivalled for 
wit of every kind. The Prince de Conti, who was elected King of 
Poland, was distinguished for this quality, and his verses are equal 
to those of La Fare and Saint-Aulaire. The Duke of Burgundy was 
learned and enlightened. The Duchess, Madame, daughter of Louis 
XV., was an eminent wit, and made epigrams and couplets. The 
Duke de Maine is in general known only by his weakness ; but no one 
could have more agreeable talents for conversation. His wife was a 
giddy creature, but she was fond of literature, understood poetry, and 
possessed a brilliant and inexhaustible imagination. I have now men- 
tioned enough of them,' continued he; 'and as I am not given to 
flattery, and hate even the appearance of it, I shall say nothing of the 
living.' This list excited astonishment, and everyone subscribed to 
the truth of his assertions." 


the house came in with a pale and terrified countenance 
and said, in a voice scarcely audible, " I bring you terrible 
news. The King has been assassinated ! " Two ladies in 
company instantly fainted ; a brigadier of the body-guards 
threw down his cards and cried out, "I do not wonder at 
it ; it is those rascally Jesuits." " What are you saying, 
brother ? " cried a lady, flying to him ; " would you 
get yourself arrested ? " " Arrested ! for what ? for un- 
masking those wretches who want a bigot for a King ? " 
My father came in. He recommended circumspection, 
saying that the blow was not mortal, and that all meetings 
ought -to be suspended at so critical a moment. He had 
brought a chaise for my mother, who placed me on her 
knees. We lived in the Avenue de Paris, and throughout 
our drive I heard incessant cries and sobs from the foot- 
paths. At last I saw a man arrested. He was an usher 
of the King's chamber who had gone mad, and was crying 
out, "Yes, I know them, the wretches! the villains!" 
Our chaise was stopped by this bustle ; my mother recog- 
nised the unfortunate man who had been seized, and 
gave his name to the brave trooper who had stopped 
him. This faithful servant was merely conducted to the 
gendarmes' station, which was then in the avenue. In times 
of public calamities or national events the slightest acts 
of imprudence may be fatal. When the people take part 
in an opinion or occurrence we ought to avoid coming in 
contact with them, or even alarming them. Informations 
are no longer the result of an organised police, and punish- 
ments cease to emanate from impartial justice. At the period 
of which I am speaking, the love of the Sovereign was a 
sort of religion, and this attempt against the life of 
Louis XV. brought on a multitude of groundless arrests. 1 
M. de la Serre, then governor of the Invalides, his wife, 
his daughter, and some of his domestics were taken up 
because Mademoiselle de la Serre, who was that very day 
come from her convent to pass the holiday of the King's 
birthday with her family, said, in her father's drawing- 
room, on hearing this news from Versailles, "It is not 

to be wondered at. I have often heard Mother N say 

that it would certainly happen because the King is not 

sufficiently attached to religion." Mother N , the 

director and several of the nuns of this convent were 

1 At this period Louis XV. was still beloved. In the Historical Illus- 
trations (V) will be found a notice relative to this attempt to assassinate 
the King, together with some curious facts related by Madame de Haus- 
set on the momentary disgrace of Madame de Pompadour, and her 
subsequent triumph on the King's recovery. — Note by the Editor. 


interrogated by the lieutenant of police. The public ani- 
mosity against the Jesuits, kept up by the partisans of 
Port Royal and the adepts of the new philosophy, did not 
conceal the suspicions which they directed against the 
Jesuits ; and, although there was not the slightest proof 
against that order, the attempt to assassinate the King was 
certainly made use of against it, a few years afterwards, 
by the party which affected the destruction of the Com- 
pany of Jesus. The wretch Damiens avenged himself on 
several persons whom he had served in several provinces 
by getting them arrested ; and when they were confronted 
with him, he said to some of them, " It was out of revenge 
for your ill-treatment of me that I put you into this fright." 
To some women he said, " That he had amused himself in 
his prison with the thoughts of the terror they would feel.'.' 
This monster confessed that he had murdered the virtuous 
La Bourdonnaye, by giving him a lavement of aquafortis. He 
had also committed several other crimes. People are too 
careless about those whom they take into their service ; such 
examples prove that too many precautions cannot be used in 
ascertaining the character of strangers before we admit them 
into our houses. 

I have often heard M. de Landsmath, equerry and master 
of the hounds, who used to come frequently to my father's, 
say that, on the news of the attempt on the King's life, he 
instantly repaired to His Majesty. I cannot repeat the coarse 
expressions he made use of to encourage His Majesty ; but 
his account of the affair, long afterwards, used to entertain 
the parties in which he was prevailed on to relate it, when all 
apprehensions respecting the consequences of this event had 
subsided. This M. de Landsmath was an old soldier who 
had given proofs of extraordinary valour. Nothing had been 
able to soften his manners or subdue his excessive blunt- 
ness to the respectful customs of the Court. The King was 
very fond of him. He possessed prodigious strength, and had 
often contended with Marshal Saxe, renowned for his great 
bodily power, in trying the strength of their respective wrists. 1 
M. de Landsmath had a thundering voice. When he came 
into the King's apartment, he found the Dauphin and 

i One day, when the King was hunting in the forest of St. Germain, 
Landsmath, riding before him, wanted a cart, filled with mud from a 
pond that had just been cleansed, to draw up out of the way. The carter 
resisted, and even answered with impertinence. Landsmath, without 
dismounting, seized him by the breast of his coat, lifted him up, and 
threw him into his cart. — Note by Madame Campan. 


Mesdames His Majesty's daughters there ; the Princesses, in 
tears, surrounded the King's bed. " Send out all these 
weeping ladies, Sire," said the old equerry, " I want to speak 
to you alone." The King made a sign to the Princesses to 
withdraw. " Come," said De Landsmath, " your wound is 
nothing ; you had plenty of waistcoats and flannel on." 
Then uncovering his breast, " Look here," said he, showing 
four or five great scars, " these are something like wounds. 
I received them thirty years ago ; now cough as loud as you 
can." The King did so. Then taking up a vase de nuit, he 
desired His Majesty in the most unceremonious way to make 
use of it-, which he did. " 'Tis nothing at all," said Landsmath; 
" you must laugh at it ; we shall hunt a stag together in four 
days." " But suppose the blade was poisoned," said the King. 
"Old grandame's tales," replied De Landsmath; "if it had 
been so, the waistcoats and flannels would have rubbed the 
poison off." The King was tranquillised, and passed a very 
good night. 

This same M. de Landsmath, who, by his military and fami- 
liar language, thus calmed the fears of Louis XV. on the day of 
Damiens' horrible crime, was one of those people who, in the 
most haughty Courts, often tell the truth bluntly. It is remark- 
able that there is a person of this description to be found in 
almost every Court, who seems to supply the place of the 
ancient King's jester, and to claim the right of saying whatever 
he pleases. 

His Majesty one day asked M. de Landsmath how old he 
was ? He was aged, and by no means fond of thinking of his 
age, so evaded the question. A fortnight after Louis XV. 
took a paper out of his pocket and read aloud, " On such a 
day in the month of * * *, one thousand six bundred and 
eighty * * *, was baptised by me, rector of * * *, the son 
of the high and mighty Lord, &c." " What's that ? " said 
De Landsmath, angrily ; " has Your Majesty been procuring 
the certificate of my baptism ? " " There it is, you see, 
Landsmath," said the King. " Well, Sire, hide it as fast as 
you can ; a Prince entrusted with the happiness of twenty-five 
millions of men ought not to hurt at pleasure the feelings of 
one individual." 

The King learned that De Landsmath had lost his con- 
fessor, a missionary priest of the parish of Notre Dame. It 
was the custom of the Lazarists to expose their dead with the 
face uncovered. Louis XV. wished to try his equerry's firm- 
ness. " You have lost your confessor, I hear," said the King. 
"Yes, Sire." "He will be exposed with his face bare?" 


" Such is the custom." " I command you to go and see 
him." " Sire, my confessor was my friend; it would be very 
painful to me." " No matter ; I command you." " Are you 
really in earnest, Sire ? " " Quite so." " It would be the first 
time in my life that I had disobeyed my Sovereign's order. I 
will go." The next day the King, at his levee, as soon as he 
perceived De Landsmath, said, " Have you done as I desired 
you, Landsmath ? " " Undoubtedly, Sire." " Well, what did 
you see? " " Faith, I saw that Your Majesty and I are no 
great things! " : 

At the death of Queen Maria Leckzinska, M. Campan. 
who was afterwards secretary of the closet to Marie Antoinette, 
and at that time an officer of the chamber, having performed 
several confidential duties at the time of that Queen's decease, 
the King asked Madame Adelaide how he should reward him. 
She requested him to create an office in his household of 
master of the wardrobe, with a salary of a thousand crowns, 
for M. Campan. " I will do so," said the King, "it will be an 
honourable title ; but tell Campan not to add a single crown 
to his expenses, for you will see they will never pay him." 

The manner in which Mademoiselle de Romans, mistress 
to Louis XV. and mother of the Abbe Bourbon, was presented 
to him deserves, I think, to be related. The King had gone 
with a grand cavalcade to Paris to hold a bed of justice. As 
he passed the terrace of the Tuileries he observed a chevalier 
de St. Louis, dressed in a faded lustring coat, and a woman of 
a pretty good figure, holding on the parapet of the terrace a 
young girl strikingly beautiful, much adorned, and dressed in 
a rose-coloured taffety frock. The King's notice was involun- 
tarily attracted by the marked manner in which he was 
pointed out to the girl. On returning to Versailles he called 
Le Bel, the minister and confidant of his secret pleasures, 
and ordered him to seek in Paris a young female about twelve 

i " The King often talked about death, burials, and cemeteries," 
says Madame du Hausset; "nobody could be more melancholy by 
nature. Madame de Pompadour has often told me that he felt a painful 
sensation whenever he was forced to laugh, and that he often requested 
her to put an end to a diverting story. He smiled, and that was all. He 
had, in general, the most gloomy ideas on all events. When a new 
minister came into office the King would say, ' He spread out his goods, 
like the rest, and promised the finest things in the world, none of which 
will ever happen. He does not know how the land lies ; he will see.' 
When schemes for increasing the naval force were proposed to him he 
used to say, ' I have heard it talked of continually for the last twenty 
years; France will never have a navy, I believe.' I had this from M. 
de Marigny." — Note by the Editor. 


or thirteen years of age, describing her as I have just done. 
Le Bel assured him he saw no probability of the success of 
such a commission. " Pardon me," said Louis XV., " this 
family must live in the neighbourhood of the Tuileries, on the 
side of the Faubourg St. Honore, or at the entrance of the 
Faubourg St. Germain. These people certainly go on foot ; 
they did not make the girl, of whom they seemed so fond, 
cross all Paris. They are poor ; the clothes of the child were 
so new that I have no doubt they were made for the very day 
I was to go to Paris. She will wear that dress all the summer ; 
they will walk in the Tuileries on Sundays and holidays. 
Apply .to the man who sells lemonade at the terrace of the 
Feuillans ; children take refreshment there ; you will discover 
her by these means." 

Le Bel fulfilled his master's orders ; and within a month 
discovered the dwelling of the girl ; he found that Louis XV. 
was not in the least mistaken with respect to the intentions 
which he supposed to exist. All conditions were easily agreed 
on ; the King contributed, by considerable presents, to the 
education of Mademoiselle de Romans for the space of two 
years. She was kept totally ignorant of her future destiny ; 
and, when she had completed her fifteenth year, she was 
taken to Versailles on the pretence of going to see the palace. 
Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, she was con- 
ducted into the mirror gallery. All the grand apartments 
were usually deserted at that hour. Le Bel, who waited 
for them, opened the glass door which led from the gallery 
into the King's closet, and invited Mademoiselle de Romans 
to go in and examine its beauties. Encouraged by the 
sight of a man whom she knew, and excited by the curiosity 
so excusable at her age, she eagerly accepted the offer, 
but insisted on Le Bel procuring the same pleasure for her 
parents. He assured her that it was impossible, that they 
were going to sit down in one of the windows of the 
gallery and wait for her, and that when she had seen the 
inner apartments he would bring her back to them. She 
consented ; the glass door closed on her. Le Bel showed 
her the chamber, the council-room, and talked with 
enthusiasm of the monarch who possessed the magnificence 
with which she was surrounded ; and at length conducted 
her to the private apartments, where Mademoiselle de 
Romans found the King himself awaiting her arrival with 
all the impatience and eagerness of a Prince who had been 
two years engaged in bringing about the moment of this 

What painful reflections are excited by all this immo- 
rality ! The art with which this intrigue had been carried 
on, and the genuine innocence of the youthful De Romans, 
vol. 11 19 


were doubtless the motives of the King's particular attach- 
ment to this mistress. She was the only one who prevailed 
on him to allow her son to bear the name of Bourbon. At 
the moment of his birth she received a note in the King's 
handwriting, containing the following words : "The Rector 
of Chaillot, when he baptizes the child of Mademoiselle de 
Romans, will give him the following names : Louis N. de 
Bourbon." A few years afterwards, the King being dis- 
satisfied at the importance which Mademoiselle de Romans 
assumed on account of her good fortune in having given 
birth to an acknowledged son, and seeing by the splendid way 
in which she was bringing him up that she entertained the 
idea of causing him to be legitimatised, had him taken out 
of his mother's hand. This commission was executed with 
great severity. Louis XV. had vowed never to legitimatise 
a natural child. The great number of Princes of this 
description which Louis XIV. had left was burdensome to 
the State, and made this determination of Louis XV. truly 
laudable. The Abbe Bourbon was very handsome, and 
exactly resembled his father. He was much beloved by the 
Princesses, the King's daughters, and his ecclesiastical 
elevation would have been carried by Louis XV. to the 
highest degree. A cardinal's hat was intended for him, as 
well as the abbey of St. Germain des Pres and the bishopric 
of Bayeux. Without being considered one of the Princes of 
the Blood, he would have enjoyed a most happy lot. He 
died at Rome of confluent small-pox. He was generally 
regretted there ; but the unfortunate events by which his 
family have since been afflicted afford reason to regard his 
death as a merciful dispensation of Providence. Made- 
moiselle de Romans married a gentleman named Cavanac. 
The King was displeased at it, and she was universally 
blamed for having in some degree abandoned by this alli- 
ance the plain title of mother of the Abbe de Bourbon. 1 

i This anecdote is calculated to excite mournful reflections ; but 
its impression is heightened by the fact that many similar adventures 
took place. In the Historical Illustrations (W) will be found two anec- 
dotes—the one related by Soulavie, the other by Madame du Hausset 
— which, although the names of the parties differ, are but too similar 
to this of Mademoiselle de Romans. 

The following article, written with extraordinary impartiality by 
M. de Lacretelle, leaves no possible doubt as to the origin and extent 
of these scandalous practices : 

" Louis, satiated with the conquests which the Court offered him, 
was led by a depraved imagination to form an establishment for his 
pleasures of such an infamous description that, after having depicted 
the debaucheries of the Regency, it is difficult to find terms appro- 
priate to an excess of this kind. Several elegant houses, built in an 
enclosure called the Parc-aux-Cerfs, were used for the reception of 


The monotonous habits of Royal greatness too frequently 
inspire Princes with the desire of procuring for themselves 
the enjoyments of private individuals ; and then they vainly 
flatter themselves with the hope of remaining concealed in 
mysterious obscurity. They ought to be warned against these 
transient errors, and accustomed to support the tediousness 
of greatness, as well as to enjoy its extensive advantages, 
which they well know how to do. Louis XV., by his noble 
carriage, and the mild yet majestic expression of his features, 
was perfectly worthy to succeed Louis the Great. But he 
too frequently indulged in secret pleasures, which at last 
were sure to become known. During several winters he was 
passionately fond of candles' end balls, as he called those 
parties amongst the very lowest classes of society. He got 
intelligence of the picnics given by little dealers, milliners 
and seamstresses of Versailles, whither he repaired in a 
black domino and masked, accompanied by the captain of 
his guards masked like himself. His great delight was to go 
en brouette. 1 Care was always taken to give notice to five or 
six officers of the King's or Queen's chamber to be there, in 
order that His Majesty might be surrounded by safe people 
without perceiving it or finding it troublesome. Probably 
the captain of the guards also took other precautions of this 
description on his part. My father-in-law, when the King 

women, who there awaited the pleasure of their master. Hither were 
brought young girls sold by their parents, and sometimes forced from 
them. They left this place loaded with gifts, but almost certain of 
never more beholding the King who had dishonoured them, even 
when they bore with them a pledge of his base passion. Hence 
corruption found its way into the most peaceful and obscure habitations. 
It was skilfully and patiently fostered by those who ministered to the 
debaucheries of Louis. Whole years were occupied in the seduction 
of girls not yet of marriageable age, and in undermining the principles 
of modesty and fidelity in young women. Some of these victims were 
so unhappy as to feel a true affection and sincere attachment to the 
King. For a few minutes he would seem moved by their fidelity, but 
he quickly repressed such feelings, and persuaded himself that it was all 
artifice intended to govern him ; and he himself became the informer 
against them to the Marchioness, who soon forced her rivals back into 
their original obscurity. Mademoiselle de Romans was the only one 
who procured her son to be acknowledged as the King's child. Madame 
de Pompadour succeeded in removing a rival who seemed to have made 
so profound an impression on the King's heart. Mademoiselle de 
Romans had her son taken from her ; he was brought up by a peasant, 
and his mother durst not protest against this outrage until after the 
King's death. Louis XVI. restored her son to her, and took him under 
his protection ; he was afterwards known under the name of the Abbe 
de Bourbon. (" History of France," by Lacretelle, vol. iii.) — Note by 
the Editor. 

i In a kind of sedan chair, running on two wheels, and drawn by a 

19 — 2 


and he were both young, has often made one amongst the 
servants desired to attend masked at these parties, assembled 
in some garret, or parlour of a tavern. In those times, 
during the carnival, masked companies had a right to join 
the citizens' balls ; it was sufficient that one of the party 
should unmask and name himself. 

These secret excursions, and his too habitual intercourse 
with ladies more distinguished for their personal charms 
than the advantages of education, were no doubt the means 
by which the King acquired many vulgar expressions which 
otherwise would never have reached his ears. 

Yet, amidst the most shameful excesses, the King some- 
times resumed suddenly the dignity of his rank in a very 
noble manner. The familiar courtiers of Louis XV. had one 
day abandoned themselves to the unrestrained gaiety of a 
supper after returning from the chase. Each boasted and 
described the beauty of his mistress. Some of them amused 
themselves with giving a particular account of their wives' 
personal defects, and in claiming extraordinary merit for 
their performance of marital duties. An imprudent word, 
addressed to Louis XV. and applicable only to the Queen, 
instantly dispelled all the mirth of the entertainment. The 
King assumed his regal air, and, knocking with his knife on 
the table twice or thrice, " Gentlemen," said he, " here is 
the King." * 

Three young men of the College of St. Germain, who had 
just completed their course of studies, knowing no person 
about the Court, and having heard that strangers were always 
well treated there, resolved to dress themselves completely 
in the Armenian costume, and thus clad to present them- 
selves to see the grand ceremony of the reception of several 
knights of the Order of the Holy Ghost. The stratagem met 
with all the success with which they had flattered themselves. 
While the procession was passing through the long mirror 
gallery, the Swiss of the apartments placed them in the first 
row of spectators, recommending everyone to pay all possible 
attention to the strangers. The latter, however, were im- 
prudent enough to enter the "bull's-eye," where were MM. 
Cardonne and Ruffin, interpreters of Oriental languages, and 
the first clerk of the consul's department, whose business it 
was to attend to everything which related to the natives of 
the East who were in France. The three scholars were 

1 No anecdote could more completely expose the excessive corrup- 
tion of the times than this shameful conduct of married men, although 
that of their wives was probably no better. According to facts men- 
tioned by Soulavie, there were women audacious enough to demand 
evidence of their own infamy in order to effect a separation from their 
husbands. — Note by the Editor. 


immediately surrounded and questioned by these gentlemen, 
at first in modern Greek. Without being disconcerted, they 
made signs that they did not understand it. They were then 
addressed in Turkish and Arabic. At length, one of the 
interpreters, losing all patience, exclaimed, "Gentlemen, 
you certainly must understand some of the languages in 
which you have been addressed ; what country can you 
possibly come from, then ? " " From St. Germain-en-Laye, 
sir," replied the boldest amongst them. " This is the first 
time you have put the question to us in French." Then they 
confessed the motive of their disguise ; the eldest of them 
was not more than eighteen years of age. Louis XV. was 
informed of the affair. He laughed heartily ; ordered them 
a few hours' confinement and a good admonition, after which 
they were to be set at liberty. 

Louis XV. liked to talk about death, though he was ex- 
tremely apprehensive of it ; but his excellent health and 
his Royal dignity probably made him imagine himself in- 
vulnerable. He often said to people who had very bad 
colds, " You've a churchyard cough there." Hunting one 
day in the forest of Senard, in a year in which bread was 
extremely dear, he met a man on horseback carrying a coffin. 
•• Whither are you carrying that coffin ? " " To the village 

of ," answered the peasant. " Is it for a man or a 

woman ? " " For a man." " What did he die of ? " 
" Hunger," bluntly replied the villager. The King spurred 
his horse and asked no more questions. 

When I was young I often met in company Madame de 
Marchais, the wife of the King's first valet de chambre. She 
was a very well-informed woman, and had enjoyed the favour 
of Louis XV., being a relation of Madame de Pompadour. 
M. de Marchais was rich and much respected ; had served in 
the army, was a chevalier de St. Louis, and, besides being 
principal valet de chambre, was governor of the Louvre. 
Madame de Marchais was visited by the whole Court ; the 
captains of the guards came there constantly, and many 
officers of the body-guard. Eminent officers of every kind 
used to get introduced to her, as to Madame Geoffrin. She 
possessed some influence, particularly in soliciting votes for 
the candidates for the academicians' chairs. I have seen all 
the celebrated men of the age at her house : La Harpe, 
Diderot, D'Alembert, Duclos, Thomas, &c. She was re- 
markable for her wit and studied display, as was her husband 


for his good-nature and simplicity. He was fond of spoiling 
her most innocent schemes for obtaining admiration. No 
one could describe an academical speech, a sermon, or the 
subject of a new piece with so much precision and grace as 
Madame de Marchais. She had also the art of turning the 
conversation at pleasure upon any ancient or modern work, 
and her husband often delighted in saying to those who sat 
near him, " My wife read that this morning." Count 
d'Angiviller, charmed with the graces of her mind, paid 
assiduous court to her, and, when she became the widow 
of M. de Marchais, married her. She was still living at 
Versailles in the early part of the reign of Napoleon, but 
never left her bed. She had retained her fondness for dress, 
and although unable to rise, always had her hair dressed as 
people used to wear it twenty years before that period. She 
disguised the ravages of time under a prodigious quantity of 
white and red paint, and seemed, by the feeble light which 
penetrated through her closed blinds and drawn curtains, 
nothing but a kind of doll — but a doll which spoke in a 
charming and most spirited manner. She had retained a 
very beautiful head of hair to an advanced age ; it was said 
that the celebrated Count Saint-Germain, who had appeared 
at the Court of Louis XV. as one of the most famous 
alchemists of the day, had given her a liquor which preserved 
the hair and prevented it from turning white through age. 

Louis XV. had, as it is well known, adopted the whimsical 
system of separating Louis de Bourbon from the King of 
France. As a private individual, he had his personal fortune, 
his own distinct financial interests. He used to deal as an 
individual in all the contracts and bargains he engaged in ; 
he had bought a tolerably handsome house at the Parc-aux- 
Cerfs at Versailles, where he used to keep one of those obscure 
mistresses whom the indulgence or the policy of Madame de 
Pompadour tolerated so long as she herself retained the title 
of his declared mistress. After the King had relinquished 
this custom, he wished to sell the house. Sevin, first clerk 
of the War Office, offered to purchase it ; the notary in- 
structed to effect the sale informed the King of his proposals. 
The contract for the sale was made out between Louis de 
Bourbon and Pierre Sevin ; and the King sent word to the 
purchaser to bring him the money himself in gold. The first 
clerk collected 40,000 francs in louis d'or, and being intro- 
duced by the notary of the King's private cabinet, delivered 
the purchase-money of the house into His Majesty's own 


Out of his private funds the King paid the household 
expenses of his mistresses, those of the education of his 
illegitimate daughters, who were brought up in convents at 
Paris, and their dowries when they married. 

Men of the most dissolute manners are not, on that account, 
insensible to virtue in women. The Countess de Perigord 
was as beautiful as she was virtuous. During some ex- 
cursions she made to Choisy, whither she had been invited, 
she perceived that the King took great notice of her. Her 
demeanour of chilling respect, her cautious perseverance in 
shunning all serious conversation with the monarch, were 
insufficient to extinguish this rising flame ; and he at length 
addressed a letter to her worded in the most passionate 
terms. This excellent woman instantly formed her resolu- 
tion : honour forbade her returning the King's passion, 
whilst her profound respect for the Sovereign made her 
unwilling to disturb his tranquillity. She therefore volun- 
tarily banished herself to an estate she possessed, called 
Chalais, near Barbezieux, the mansion of which had been 
uninhabited for nearly a century ; the porter's lodge was 
the only place in a condition to receive her. From this 
seat she wrote to His Majesty, explaining her motives for 
leaving Court ; and she remained there several years with- 
out visiting Paris. Louis XV. was speedily attracted by 
other objects, and regained the composure to which Madame 
de Perigord had thought it her duty to make so great a 
sacrifice. Some years afterwards the Princesses' lady of 
honour died ; many great families solicited the place. The 
King, without answering any of their applications, wrote to 
the Countess de Perigord : " My daughters have just lost 
their lady of honour; this place, madam, is your due, no 
less on account of your eminent virtues than of the illus- 
trious name of your family." 

Count d'Halville, sprung from a very ancient Swiss house, 
commenced his career at Versailles in the humble rank of 
ensign in the regiment of Swiss Guards. His name and dis- 
tinguished qualities gained him the patronage of some powerful 
friends, who, in order to support the honour of the ancient 
name he bore by a handsome fortune, obtained for him 
in marriage the daughter of a very rich financier named 
M. de la Garde. The offspring of this union was an only 
daughter, who married Count Esterhazy. Amongst the 
estates which belonged to Mademoiselle de la Garde was 


the Chateau des Trous, situate four leagues from Versailles, 
where the Count was visited by many people attached to 
the Court. The young ensign of the body-guards, who had 
obtained that rank on account of his name and of the favour 
which his family enjoyed, and possessed all the confidence 
which usually accompanies unmerited success, but of which 
the progress of time fortunately relieves young people, was 
one day taking it upon himself to give his opinion of the Swiss 
nobility, although he knew nothing of the great families of 
Switzerland. Without the least delicacy or consideration for 
the Count, his host, he asserted boldly that there were no 
ancient families in Switzerland. " Excuse me," said the 
Count very coolly, " there are several of great antiquity." 
" Can you name them, sir ? " answered the youth. " Yes," 
said M. d'Halville ; "for instance, there is my House, and 
that of Hapsburg, which now reigns in Germany." " Of 
course you have your reasons for naming your own family 
first," replied the imprudent ensign. "Yes, sir," said M. 
d'Halville, sternly; "because the House of Hapsburg dates 
from the period when its founder was page to my ancestors. 
Read history, study the antiquities of nations and families, 
and in future be more circumspect in your assertions." 

Weak as Louis XV. was, the Parliaments would never 
have obtained his consent to the convocation of the States- 
General. I heard an anecdote on this subject from two 
officers attached to that Prince's household. It was at the 
period when the remonstrances of the Parliaments and the 
refusals to register the decrees for levying the taxes produced 
alarm with respect to the state of the finances. This became 
the subject of conversation one evening at the coucher of 
Louis XV., " You will see, Sire," said a courtier, whose 
office placed him in close communication with the King, 
" that all this will make it absolutely necessary to assemble 
the States- General." The King, roused by this speech from 
his habitual apathy, seized the courtier by the arm, and said 
to him in a passion, " Never repeat those words. I am not 
sanguinary ; but had I a brother, and he were to dare to give 
me such advice, I would sacrifice him within twenty-four 
hours to the duration of the monarchy and the tranquillity 
of the kingdom." 


Natural causes of the Death of the Dauphin, the father of 
Louis XVI., and of the Dauphiness, Princess of Saxony, 
in answer to all the reports spread by Soulavie about 
poison. ' 

Several years prior to his death, the Dauphin had a 
confluent small-pox which endangered his life; and after his 
convalescence he was long troubled with a malignant ulcer 
under the nose. He was injudiciously advised to get rid of 
it by the use of extract of lead, which proved effectual ; 
but from that time the Dauphin, who was corpulent, in- 
sensibly grew thin ; and a short, dry cough evinced that the 
humour, driven in, had fallen on the lungs. Some persons 
also suspected him of having taken acids in too great a 
quantity for the purpose of reducing his bulk. The state 
of his health was not, however, such as to excite alarm at the 
time of the camp at Compiegne, in July, 1764. The Dauphin 
reviewed the troops, and exerted much activity in the per- 
formance of his duties ; it was even observed that he was 
seeking to gain the attachment of the army. He presented 
the Dauphiness to the soldiers, saying, with a simplicity 
which at that time made a great sensation, " My children, 
here is my wife." Returning late on horseback to Com- 
piegne, he found himself cold. The heat of the day had been 
excessive ; the Prince's clothes had been wet with perspira- 
tion. An illness followed this accident ; the Prince began to 
spit blood. His principal physician wished to have him 
bled ; the consulting physicians insisted on purgation, and 
their advice was followed. The pleurisy being ill-cured, 
assumed and retained all the symptoms of consumption ; 
the Dauphin languished from that period until December, 
1765, and died at Fontainebleau, where the Court, on 
account of his condition, ha'd prolonged its stay, which 
usually ended on the 2nd of November. 

1 We leave the title of this piece as it stands; but it is proper to 
remark that the reproach here applied to Soulavie is not perfectly well 
founded. He has only done that which is the duty of every impartial 
chronicler. He has, indeed, stated the odious accusations which were 
made against the Duke de Choiseul, and which we believe to be 
unfounded ; but at the same time he brings forward testimony in 
defence of the memory of M. de Choiseul which seems to us suffi- 
ciently protected by his character. The Duke de Choiseul disliked the 
Dauphin; he even defied him, which was wrong. His violent rage was 
undoubtedly reprehensible when he forgot himself so far as to say, " I 
may one day be condemned to the misfortune of being your subject, but 
I will never be your slave." But there is a wide interval between this 
audacious fury of the moment, and the blackest of crimes : an interval 
which M. de Choiseul was incapable of passing. 


The Dauphiness, his widow, was excessively afflicted, but 
the immoderate despair which characterised her grief in- 
duced many to suspect that the loss of the crown was an 
important part of the calamity she lamented. She long 
refused to eat enough to support life ; she encouraged her 
tears to flow by placing portraits of the Dauphin in every 
retired part of her apartments. She had him represented 
pale and ready to expire, in a picture placed at the foot 
of her bed, under draperies of grey cloth, with which the 
chambers of the Princesses were always hung in court 
mournings. Their grand cabinet was hung with black cloth, 
with an alcove, a canopy, and a throne, on which they re- 
ceived compliments of condolence after the first period of the 
deep mourning. The Dauphiness, some months before the 
end of her life, regretted her conduct in abridging it ; but it 
was too late ; the fatal blow had been struck. It may also 
be presumed that living with a consumptive man had contri- 
buted to her complaint. This Princess had no opportunity 
of displaying her qualities ; living in a Court in which she 
was eclipsed by the King and Queen, the only characteristics 
that could be remarked in her were her extreme attachment 
to her husband and her great piety. 

The Dauphin was little known, and his character has 
been much mistaken. He himself, as he confessed to his 
intimate friends, sought to disguise it. He one day asked one 
of his most familiar servants, " What do they say in Paris of 
that great fool of a Dauphin ? " The person interrogated 
seeming confused, the Dauphin urged him to express himself 
sincerely, saying, " Speak freely ; that is positively the idea 
which I wish people to form of me." 

As he died of a disease which allows the last moment to 
be anticipated long beforehand, he wrote much, and trans- 
mitted his affections and his prejudices to his son by secret 
notes. 1 This was really what prevented the Queen from 
recalling M. de Choiseul at the death of Louis XV., and 
what promoted M. de Muy, the intimate friend of the 
Dauphin, to the place of Minister of War. The destruction 
of the Jesuits, effected by M. de Choiseul, had given the 
Dauphin's hatred of him that character of party spirit which 
induced him to transmit it to his son. Had he ascended the 
throne, he would have supported the Jesuits and priests in 
general, and kept down the philosophers. Maria Leckzinska, 
the wife of Louis XV., placed her highest merit in abstain- 
ing from public affairs and in the strict observance of her 
religious duties, never asking for anything for herself, and 

1 The Historical Illustrations (X) contain some particulars of the 
disposition and manners of Louis XVI. in his youth. 


sending all she possessed to the poor. Such a life ought 
to secure a person against all danger of poison, but has not 
preserved the memory of this Princess from that venom 
which Soulavie makes the Duke de Choiseul deal around him 


Maria Leckzinska, wife of Louis XV., often spoke of 
the situation, even below mediocrity, in which she stood at 
the time when the policy of the Court of Versailles caused 
the marriage of the King with the young Infanta to be broken 
off, and raised a Polish Princess, daughter of a dethroned 
monarch, to the rank of Queen of France. Before this un- 
hoped-for event changed the destiny of this virtuous Princess, 
there had been some idea of marrying her to the Duke 
d'Estrees ; and when the Duchess of that name came to pay 
her court to her at Versailles, she said to those who sur- 
rounded her, " I might have been in that lady's place myself, 
and curtseying to the Queen of France." She used to relate 
that the King, her father, informed her of her elevation in a 
manner which might have made too strong an impression on 
her mind ; that he had taken care, to avoid disturbing her 
tranquillity, to leave her in total ignorance of the first nego- 
tiations set on foot relative to her marriage ; and that when 
all was definitely arranged and the ambassador arrived, her 
father went to her apartment, placed an arm-chair for her, 
had her set in it, and addressed her thus: "Allow me, 
madam, to enjoy a happiness . which far overbalances all I 
have suffered ; I wish to be the first to pay my respects to 
the Queen of France." 

Maria Leckzinska was not handsome, but she possessed 
much intelligence, an expressive countenance, a simplicity 
of manner, and all the gracefulness of the Polish ladies. 
She loved the King, and found his first infidelities very 
grievous to endure. Nevertheless, the death of Madame de 
Chateauroux, whom she had known very young and who had 
even been honoured by her kindness, made a painful impres- 
sion on her. This good Queen still suffered from the bad 

1 " In some esteemed Memoirs of the Reign of Maria Leckzinska it 
is said that she was to have been married to the Duke de Bourbon. I 
know not whether this be certain ; but I can affirm that she has often 
conversed with Madame Campan, my mother-in-law, on the project of 
her marriage with the Duke d'Estrees.'' — Note by Madame Campan. 


effects of an early superstitious education. She was fearful 
of ghosts. The first night after she heard of this almost 
sudden death she could not sleep, and made one of her 
women sit up, who endeavoured to calm her restlessness by 
telling her stories, which she would in such cases call for, as 
children do with their nurses. This night nothing could 
overcome her wakefulness ; her femme de chambre, thinking she 
was asleep, was leaving her bed on tiptoe ; the slightest noise 
on the floor roused the Queen, who cried, " Whither are you 
going ? Stay, go on with your story." As it was past two in 
the morning, this woman, whose name was Boirot, and who 
was somewhat unceremonious, said, " What can be the 
matter with Your Majesty to-night ? Are you feverish ? Shall 
I call up the physician ? " " Oh ! no, no, my good Boirot, I 
am not ill; but that poor Madame de Chateauroux — if she 
were to come again ! " "Jesus, madam!" cried the woman, 
who had lost all patience, "if Madame de Chateauroux should 
come again, it certainly will not be Your Majesty that she 
will look for." The Queen burst into a fit of laughter at 
this observation, her agitation subsided, and she soon fell 

The nomination of Madame le Normand d'Etioles, Mar- 
chioness de Pompadour, to the place of lady of the bed- 
chamber to the Queen, offended the dignity as well as the 
sensibility of this Princess. Nevertheless, the respectful 
homage paid by the Marchioness, the interest which certain 
great personages, who were candidates for her favour, had in 
procuring her an indulgent reception from Her Majesty, the 
respect of Maria Leckzinska for all the King's wishes, all 
conspired to secure her the Queen's favourable notice. 
Madame de Pompadour's brother received patents of high 
birth from His Majesty, and was appointed superintendent 
of the buildings and gardens. He often presented to Her 
Majesty, through the medium of his sister, the rarest flowers, 
pine-apples and early vegetables from the gardens of Trianon 
and Choisy. One day when the Marchioness came into the 
Queen's apartment, carrying a large basket of flowers, which 
she held in her two beautiful arms, without gloves, as a mark 
of respect, the Queen loudly declared her admiration of her 
beauty, and seemed as if she wished to defend the King's 
choice by praising her various charms in detail in a manner 
that would have been as suitable to a production of the fine 
arts as to a living being. After applauding the complexion, 
eyes and fine arms of the favourite with that haughty con- 
descension which renders approbation more offensive than 
flattering, the Queen at length requested her to sing in the 
attitude in which she stood, being desirous of hearing the 
voice and musical talent by which the King's Court had been 


charmed in the performances of the private apartments, and 
thus to combine the gratification of the ear with that of the 
eyes. The Marchioness, who still held her enormous basket, 
was perfectly sensible of something offensive in this request, 
and tried to excuse herself from singing. The Queen at last 
commanded her. She then exerted her fine voice in the solo 
of Armida, " At length he is in my power." The change in 
Her Majesty's countenance was so obvious that the ladies 
present at this scene had the greatest difficulty to keep 

The Queen received visitors with much grace and dignity, 
but it is very common with the great to reiterate the same 
questions ; a sterility of ideas is very excusable on public 
occasions, when there is so little to say. The lady of an 
ambassador, however, made Her Majesty feel that she did 
not choose to give way to her forgetfulness in matters con- 
cerning herself. This lady was pregnant, but, nevertheless, 
constantly appeared at the Queen's drawing-rooms, who 
never failed to ask her whether she was in the state alluded 
to, and on receiving an answer in the affirmative, always 
enquired how many months of her time had elapsed. At 
length the lady, weary of the eternal repetition of the same 
question, and of the total forgetfulness which betrayed the 
insincerity of the Queen in pretending to take interest in 
her affairs, replied to the usual enquiry, " No, madam." 
This answer instantly recalled to Her Majesty's recollection 
those which the lady had so often given before. " How, 
madam," said she, " it appears to me that you have several 
times answered me that you were so. Have you been brought 
to bed ? " " No, madam ; but I was fearful of fatiguing 
Your Majesty by constantly repeating the same thing." 
This lady was from that day very coldly received by Maria 
Leckzinska, and had Her Majesty possessed more influence 
the ambassador might have suffered for his wife's indis- 
cretion. The Queen was affable and modest, but the more 
thankful she was in her heart to heaven for having placed 
her on the first throne in Europe, the more unwilling she 
was to be reminded of her elevation. This sentiment in- 
duced her to insist on the observation of all the forms of 
respect due to Royal birth ; whereas in other Princes the 
consciousness of that birth often induces them to disdain 
the ceremonies of etiquette, and to prefer habits of ease 
and simplicity. There was a striking contrast in this 
respect between Maria Leckzinska and Marie Antoinette, 
as has been justly and generally thought. The latter un- 
fortunate Queen carried her disregard of everything belong- 


ing to the strict forms of etiquette too far. 1 One day, when 
the Marechale de Mouchy was teasing her with questions 
relative to the extent to which she would allow the ladies 
the option of taking off or wearing their cloaks, and of 
pinning up the lappets of their caps or letting them hang 
down, the Queen replied to her, in my presence, " Arrange 
all those matters, madam, just as you please ; but do not 
imagine that a Queen, born Archduchess of Austria, can 
attach that importance to them which might be felt by a 
Polish Princess who had become Queen of France." 

The Polish Princess, in truth, never forgave the slightest 
deviation from the respect due to her person and to all 
belonging to her. The Duchess of , a lady of her bed- 
chamber, who was of an imperious and irritable temper, 
often drew upon herself such petty slights as are constantly 
shown towards haughty and ill-natured people by the ser- 
vants of Princes when they can justify those affronts by 
the plea of their duty or of the customs of the Court. 

i Marie Antoinette has been so often reproached for having dero- 
gated from the strictness of old custom, that it is extremely necessary to 
answer this accusation, once for all, by facts. No Prince was ever more 
jealously observant of the laws of etiquette than Louis XIV., in whose 
latter years the prudery of Madame de Maintenon rather tended to 
increase than to weaken this inclination. Let those, therefore, who 
cannot excuse the slightest infraction of ceremony in Marie Antoinette 
compare her conduct with that of the Duchess of Burgundy. 

" This Princess," says the Duchess d'Orleans in her Memoirs, " was 
often entirely alone in her chateau, unattended by any of her people ; 
she would take the arm of one of the young ladies, and walk out with- 
out equerries, lady of honour or tire-woman. At Marly and Versailles 
she went on foot without a corset; would go into the church and sit 
down by the femmes de chambre. At Madame de Maintenon's no dis- 
tinction of rank was observed, and the whole company seated them- 
selves indiscriminately ; she contrived this purposely that her own rank 
might not be remarked. At Marly the Dauphiness walked in the garden 
all night with the young people until three or four in the morning. The 
King knew nothing of these nocturnal excursions." 

Is not this clear and positive enough ? Whence then the blame so 
unjustly thrown on Marie Antoinette, whilst a profound silence is main- 
tained respecting the imprudence, to say no worse, of the Duchess of 
Burgundy ? It is because the excessive mildness of Louis XVI. en- 
couraged audacity and calumny amongst the courtiers, whilst under 
Louis XIV., on the contrary, the most prompt chastisement would 
have been the lot of any daring individual who had ventured to point 
his malignant slanders at a personage placed near the throne. The 
Duchess d'Orleans makes this sufficiently evident. " Madame de 
Maintenon," she adds, " had prohibited the Duchess du Lude from 
annoying the Duchess of Burgundy, that she might not put her in an 
ill-humour, because when out of temper the Dauphiness could not 
divert the King. She had also threatened with her eternal anger 
whomsoever should dare to accuse the Dauphiness to His Majesty." 
— Note by the Editor. 


Etiquette, or indeed I might say a sense of propriety, pro- 
hibited all persons from laying things belonging to them 
on the seats of the Queen's chamber. At Versailles one 
had to cross this chamber to reach the play-room. The 

Duchess de laid her cloak on one of the folding-stools 

which stood before the balustrade of the bed. The usher 
of the chamber, whose duty it was to attend to whatever 
occurred in this room, whilst they were at play, saw this 
cloak, took it and carried it into the footman's ante-chamber. 
The Queen had a large favourite cat, which was constantly 
running about the apartments. This satin cloak, lined 
with fur, appeared very convenient to the cat, who took 
possession of it accordingly. Unfortunately, he left very 
unpleasant marks of his preference, which remained but 
too evident on the white satin of the pelisse, in spite of 
all the pains that were taken to efface them before it was 
given to the Duchess. She perceived them, took the cloak 
in her hand, and returned in a violent passion to the Queen's 
chamber, where Her Majesty remained surrounded by 
almost all the Court. " Only see, madam," said she, " the 
impertinence of your people, who have thrown my pelisse on 
a bench in the ante-chamber, where Your Majesty's cat has 
served it in this manner." The Queen, displeased at her 
complaints and familiar expressions, said to her, with the 
coldest look imaginable, " Know, madam, that it is you, 
not I, who keep people; I have officers of my chamber who 
have purchased the honour of serving me, and are persons 
of good breeding and education. They know the dignity 
which ought to belong to a lady of the bed-chamber; they 
are not ignorant that you, who have been chosen from 
amongst the first ladies of the kingdom, ought to be 
accompanied by a gentleman, or at least a valet de chambre 
as his substitute, to receive your cloak, and that had you 
observed the forms suitable to your rank you would not 
have been exposed to the mortification of seeing your things 
thrown on the benches of the ante-chamber." 

I have read in several works written on the life of Queen 
Maria Leckzinska that she possessed great talents. Her 
religious, noble and resigned conduct, and the refinement 
and judiciousness of her understanding, sufficiently prove 
that her august father had promoted with the most tender 
care the development of all those excellent qualities with 
which Heaven had endowed her. 

The virtues and information of the great are always 
evinced by their conduct. Their accomplishments, coming 


within the scope of flattery, are never to be ascertained 
by an} 7 authentic proofs, and those who have lived near 
them may be excused for some degree of scepticism with 
regard to their attainments of this kind. If they draw or 
paint, there is always an able artist present, who, if he 
does not absolutely guide the pencil with his own hand, 
directs it by his advice. He sets the palette, and mixes 
the colours on which the tones depend. If a Princess 
attempt a piece of embroidery in colours, of that description 
which ranks amongst the productions of the arts, a skilful 
embroideress is employed to undo and repair whatever has 
been spoilt, and to cover the neglected tints with new 
threads. If a Princess be a musician, there are no ears 
that will discover when she is out of tune ; at least there is 
no tongue that will tell her so. This imperfection in the 
accomplishments of the great is but a slight misfortune. It 
is sufficiently meritorious in them to engage in such pursuits, 
even with indifferent success, because this taste and the 
protection it extends produce abundance of talent on every 
side. The Queen delighted in the art of painting, and 
imagined she herself could draw and paint. She had a 
drawing-master, who passed all his time in her cabinet. 
She undertook to paint four large Chinese pictures, with 
which she wished to ornament her private drawing-room, 
already richly furnished with rare porcelain and the finest 
marbles. This painter was entrusted with the landscape 
and background of the pictures. He drew the figures with 
a pencil. The faces and arms were also left by the Queen 
to his execution. She reserved to herself nothing but the 
draperies and the least important accessories. The Queen 
every morning filled up the outline marked out for her with 
a little red, blue or green colour, which the master prepared 
on the palette and with which he even filled her pencil, 
constantly repeating, "Higher up, madam — lower down, 
madam — a little to the right — more to the left." After an 
hour's work, the time for hearing Mass or some other family 
or pious duty would interrupt Her Majesty ; and the painter, 
putting the shades into the draperies she had painted, 
softening off the colour where she had laid too much, &c, 
finished the small figures. When the work was completed, 
the private drawing-room was decorated with Her Majesty's 
work ; and the firm persuasion of this good Queen that she 
had painted it herself was so entire that she left this cabinet, 
with all its furniture and paintings, to the Countess de 
Noailles, her lady of honour. She added to the bequest, 
" The pictures in my cabinet, being my own work, I hope 
the Countess de Noailles will preserve them for my sake." 
Madame de Noailles, afterwards Marechale de Mouchy, had 


a new additional pavilion constructed in her hotel in the 
Faubourg St. Germain, in order to form a suitable receptacle 
for the Queen's legacy, and had the following inscription 
placed over the door in letters of gold : " The innocent false- 
hood of a good Princess." 

The Queen had selected as her intimate friends the 
Duke, the Duchess and the worthy Cardinal de Luynes. 
She called them her good folks. She often did the Duchess 
the honour to spend the evening and sup with her. The 
President Henault was the charm of this pious and virtuous 
society. This magistrate combined the weighty qualifications 
of his functions in society with the attainments of a man of 
letters and the polish of a courtier. The Queen one day 
surprised the Duchess writing to the President, who had just 
published his " Chronological Abridgment of the History of 
France." She took the pen from Madame de Luynes, and 
wrote at the bottom of the letter this postscript : "I think 
that M. de Henault, who says a great deal in few words, 
cannot be very partial to the language of women, who use a 
vast number of words to say very little." Instead of signing 
this, she added, " Guess who." The President answered 
this anonymous epistle by these ingenious lines : 

" This sentence, written by a heavenly hand, 

Fills with perplexing doubts my conscious mind : 
Presumptuous, if I dare to understand ; 

Ungrateful, if I fail the truth to find." « • 

One evening the Queen, having entered the cabinet of 
the Duke de Luynes, took down several books successively 
to read the titles. A translation of Ovid's " Art of Love " 
having fallen into her hands, she replaced it hastily, exclaim- 
ing, "Oh, fie!" "How, madam," said the President; "is 
that the way in which Your Majesty treats the art of pleas- 
ing ? " " No, Monsieur Henault," answered the Queen, " I 
should esteem the art of pleasing ; it is the art of seducing 
that I throw from me." 

Madame de Civrac, daughter of the Duke d'Aumont, lady 
of honour to the Princesses, belonged to this intimate circle 
of the Queen's. Her virtues and amiable character pro- 

1 " Ces mots, traces par une main divine, 

Ne peuvent me causer que trouble et qu'embarras : 
C'est trop oser, si mon coeur les devine ; 
C'est etre ingrat, s'il ne les devine pas." 

VOL. II 20 


cured her equal esteem and affection in that connection, 
and in her family, from which a premature death removed 
her. The President Henault paid her a respectful homage, 
or rather, delighted in being the medium of that which this 
distinguished circle eagerly rendered to her talents, her 
virtues and her sufferings. Some time before the death of 
Madame de Civrac she was ordered to try the mineral 
waters ; she left Versailles much debilitated and in very 
bad health. The wish to amuse her during a journey which 
removed her to a distance from all that was dear to her, 
inspired the President with the idea of an entertainment, 
which was given to her at every place she stopped to rest. 
Her friends set out before her, in order to be a few posts 
in advance and prepare their disguises. When she stopped 
at Bernis the interesting traveller found a group of lords 
dressed in the costume of ancient French knights, accom- 
panied by the best musicians of the King's chapel. They 
sang Madame de Civrac some stanzas composed by the 
President, the first of which began thus : 

" Can naught your cruel flight impede ? 
Must distant climes your charms adore ? 
Why thus to other conquests speed, 
And leave our hearts, enslaved before ? " ' 

At Nemours the same persons, dressed as village swains 
and nymphs, presented her with a rural scene, in which they 
invited her to enjoy the simple pleasures of the country. 
Elsewhere they appeared as burgesses and their wives, with 
the bailiff and town clerk ; and these disguises, continually 
varied and enlivened by the amiable ingenuity of the Pre- 
sident, followed Madame de Civrac as far as the watering- 
place to which she was going. I read this ingenious and 
affecting entertainment when I was young; I know not 
whether the manuscript has been preserved by the heirs of 
the President Henault. The candour and religious simplicity 
of the good Cardinal formed a striking contrast to the gallant 
and agreeable character of the President ; and people would 
sometimes divert themselves with his simplicity, without 
forgetting the respect due to him. One of these instances, 
however, produced such happy results as to justify the 
good Cardinal in a singular misapplication of his well- 
meant piety. Unwilling to forget the homilies which 
he had composed in his youth, and as jealous of his 

i " Quoi ! vous partez sans que rien vous arrfite ! 
Vous allez plaire en de nouveaux climats ! 
Pourquoi voler de conquete en conquete? 
Nos coeurs soumis ne sufnsent-ils pas?" 


works as the Archbishop of Granada, who discharged 
Gil Bias, the Cardinal used to rise at five in the morning 
every Sunday during the residence of the Court at Fon- 
tainebleau (which town was in his diocese), and go to offi- 
ciate at the parish church, where, mounting the pulpit, he 
repeated one of his homilies, all of which had been composed 
to exhort people of rank and fashion to return to the pri- 
mitive simplicity suitable to true Christians. A few hundred 
peasants sitting on their sabots, surrounded by the baskets in 
which they had carried vegetables or fruit to market, listened 
to His Eminence without understanding a single word of 
what he was saying to them. Some people belonging to the 
Court, happening to go to Mass previous to setting out for 
Paris, heard His Eminence exclaiming, with truly pastoral 
vehemence, " My dear brethren, why do you carry luxury 
even to the foot of the sanctuary ? Wherefore are these 
velvet cushions, these bags covered with laces and fringe, 
carried before you into the temple of the Lord ? Abandon 
these sumptuous and magnificent customs, which you ought 
to regard as a cumbrous appendage to your rank, and to put 
away from you when you enter the presence of your Divine 
Saviour." The fashionable hearers of these homilies men- 
tioned them at Court ; everyone wished to hear them ; ladies 
of the highest rank would be awakened at break of day to 
hear the Cardinal say Mass ; and thus His Eminence was 
speedily surrounded by a congregation to which his homilies 
were perfectly adapted. 

Maria Leckzinska could never look with cordiality on the 
Princess of Saxony, who married the Dauphin ; but the 
attention, respect and cautious behaviour of the Dauphiness 
at length made Her Majesty forget that the Princess was 
daughter to a King who wore her father's crown. Never- 
theless, when the great entertain a deep resentment, some 
marks of it will occasionally be observed by those who 
constantly surround them ; and, although the Queen now 
saw in the Princess of Saxony only a wife beloved by her 
son, and the mother of the Prince destined to succeed to 
the throne, she never could forget that Augustus wore the 
crown of Stanislaus. One day an officer of her chamber 
having undertaken to ask a private audience of her for 
the Saxon minister, and the Queen being unwilling to 
grant it, he persisted in his request, and ventured to add 
that he should not have ventured to ask this favour of the 
Queen had not the minister been the ambassador of a 
member of the family. " Say of an enemy of the family," 
replied the Queen, angrily ; " and let him come in." 

20 — 2 


The Queen was very partial to the Princess de Tallard, 
governess of the children of France. This lady, having 
attained an advanced age, came to take leave of Her Majesty, 
and to acquaint her with the resolution she had taken to 
quit the world and to place an interval between her life and 
dissolution. The Queen expressed much regret, endeavoured 
to dissuade her from this scheme, and, much affected at the 
thoughts of the sacrifice on which the Princess had de- 
termined, asked her whither she intended to retire : " To 
the entresols of my hotel, madam," answered Madame de 

Count Tesse, father of the last Count of that name, 
who left no children, was first equerry to Queen Maria 
Leckzinska. She esteemed his virtues, but often diverted 
herself at the expense of his simplicity. One day, when 
the conversation turned on the noble military actions by 
which the French nobility were distinguished, the Queen 
said to the Count, " And your family, M. de Tesse, has 
been famous, too, in the field." " Ah ! madam, we have 
all been killed in our masters' service 1 " " How rejoiced 
I am," replied the Queen, "that you are left to tell me of 
it." The son of this worthy M. de Tesse was married to 
the amiable and highly-gifted daughter of the Duke d'Ayen, 
afterwards Marshal de Noailles ; he was excessively fond of 
his daughter-in-law, and never could speak of her without 
emotion. The Queen, to please him, often talked to him 
about the young Countess ; and one day asked him which of 
her good qualities seemed to him most conspicuous. " Her 
gentleness, madam ; her gentleness," said he, with tears in 
his eyes ; " she is so mild, so soft — as soft as a good carriage." 
" Well," said Her Majesty, " that's an excellent comparison 
for a first equerry." 

In 1730 Queen Maria Leckzinska, going to Mass, met old 
Marshal Villars leaning on a wooden crutch not worth fifteen 
pence ; she rallied him about it, and the Marshal told her 
that he had used it ever since he had received a wound which 
obliged him to add this article to the equipments of the army. 
Her Majesty, smiling, said she thought this crutch so un- 
worthy of him that she hoped to induce him to give it up. 
On returning home she despatched M. Campan to Paris, 
with orders to purchase at the celebrated Germain's the 
handsomest cane, with a gold enamelled crutch, that he 
could find, and carry it without delay to Marshal Villars' 
hotel, and present it to him from her. He was announced 


accordingly, and fulfilled his commission. The Marshal, in 
attending him to the door, requested him to express his 
gratitude to the Queen, and said that he had nothing fit 
to offer to an officer who had the honour to belong to Her 
Majesty, but he begged him to accept of his old stick, and 
that his grandchildren would probably some day be glad 
to possess the cane with which he had commanded at 
Marchiennes and Denain. The known character of Marshal 
Villars appears in this anecdote; but he was not mistaken 
with respect to the estimation in which his stick would be 
held. It was thenceforth kept with veneration by M. Cam- 
pan's family. On the 10th of August, 1792, a house which 
I occupied on the Carrousel, at the entrance of the court 
of the Tuileries, was pillaged and nearly burnt down ; the 
cane of Marshal Villars was thrown into the Carrousel, 
as of no value, and picked up by my servant. Had its 
old master been living at that period we should not have 
witnessed such a deplorable day. 

The Queen's father died in consequence of being severely 
burnt by his fireside. Like almost all old men, he disliked 
those attentions which imply the decay of the faculties, 
and had ordered a valet dc chambre who wished to remain 
near him to withdraw into the adjoining room ; a spark 
set fire to a taffety dressing-gown, wadded with cotton, which 
his daughter had sent him. The poor old Prince, who enter- 
tained hopes of recovering from the frightful state into which 
this accident reduced him, wished to inform the Queen of 
it himself, and wrote her a letter evincing the mild gaiety 
of his disposition, as well as the courage of his soul, in which 
he said, "What consoles me is the reflection that I am 
burning for you." To the last moment of her life Maria 
Leckzinska never parted with this letter, and her women 
often surprised her kissing a paper, which they concluded 
to be this last farewell of Stanislaus. 1 

1 This anecdote does honour to the heart and filial piety of Maria 
Leckzinska. That Princess was equally gifted with wit and sensibility, 
if we may judge by many expressions which fell from her lips in conver- 
sation, and which have been collected by the Abbe Proyart. Many of 
them are remarkable for the depth of thought they display, and frequently 
for an ingenious and lively turn of expression. 

" We should not be great but for the little. We ought to be so only 
for their good." — (Page 240.) 

" To be vain of one's rank is to declare oneself beneath it." — {Ibid.) 

" A King who enforces respect to God has no occasion to command 
homage to be paid to himself." — (Ibid.) 

" The mercy of Kings is to do justice, and the justice of Queens is to 
exercise mercy." — (Page 241.) 



In a tranquil and happy Court, such as Versailles was pre- 
vious to the fatal period of the Revolution, the most trifling 
events engage attention, and those that are uncommon afford 
a particular delight. In the beginning of the reign of Louis 
XVI., a person who associated with the Duchess de Cosse, 
the Queen's dresser, discovered, in a village near Marly, a 
female living retired in a cottage more neatly arranged and 
better furnished than those of the other peasants in the 
vicinity. She had a cow, which, however, she knew not how 
to milk, and requested her neighbours to render her that 
sendee. One thing seemed still more surprising : it was a 
library of about two hundred volumes, which formed the 
principal ornament of her retreat. The Duchess spoke of 
this interesting recluse to the Queen. By her account she 

was a " Sarah Th ," like the heroine of a novel which the 

Chevalier de Saint- Lambert had just published at the con- 
clusion of the poem of the Seasons. 

For several days nothing was talked of but this Sarah of 
Marly ; it was observed that she was only known in the village 
by the name of Marguerite ; that she went to Paris but twice 
a year, and alone; that she seldom spoke to her neighbours, 
unless to thank them for any little services they had rendered 
her ; that she regularly heard low Mass on Sundays and 
holidays, but was not religious ; that the works of Racine, 
Voltaire and Jean-Jacques had been seen in her cottage. At 
length the interest thus excited increased to such a degree 
that Marie Antoinette desired to be acquainted with the object 
of it, and directed her ride towards the place of her retreat. 
The Queen quitted her carriage before she reached the village, 
and, taking the arm of the Duchess de Cosse, entered the 
cottage. " Good day, Marguerite," she said ; " your cottage 

" Good Kings are slaves, and their subjects are free." — (Ibid.) 

" Content seldom travels with fortune, but follows virtue even in 
adversity." — (Ibid.) 

" Solitude can be delightful only to the innocent." — (Ibid.) 

" To consider oneself great on account of rank and wealth is to 
imagine that the pedestal makes the hero." — (Ibid.) 

" Many Princes when dying have lamented having made war. We 
hear of none who at that moment have regretted having loved peace." — 

" Sensible people judge of a head by what it contains ; frivolous 
women by what is on the outside of it." — (Page 245.) 

" Courtiers cry out to us, ' Give us, without reckoning ! ' and the 
people, ' Reckon what we give you ! ' " 


is extremely pretty." " Nothing to speak of, madam ; but I 
keep it neat." " Your furniture is good." " I brought it from 
Paris when I came to fix myself here." "They say you go 
there very little ? " "I have no occasion." " You have a cow 
that you do not attend to yourself? " " My health requires 
me to drink a good deal of milk ; and, having always lived in 
town, I am unable to milk my cow, and my neighbours do me 
this service." " You have books ? " " As you see, madam." 
" What, Voltaire ! " said the Queen, taking up a volume of 
that author ; " have you read the whole of his works ? " "I 
have read those volumes which I possess, ' The Age of Louis 
XIV.,'.' The Reign of Charles XII.,' ' The Henriade,' and his 
tragedies." " What taste in the selection ! " exclaimed the 
Duchess ; " it is really surprising ! You read a great deal, it is 
said." " I have nothing better to do ; I like it ; it kills time, 
and the evenings are long." " How did you obtain these 
books?" resumed the Queen; "did you purchase them?" 
" No, madam," replied Marguerite, " I was housekeeper to a 
physician, who died and left me by will his furniture, his books 
and an annuity of eight hundred livres from the Hotel de Ville, 
which I go to receive every half-year." The Queen was highly 
amused at seeing all the reports about the recluse of Marly 
overturned by a narrative so simple and so little deserving of 

The new " Sarah Th " was, in fact, a retired cook. 

Marie Antoinette while she was yet Dauphiness could ill 
endure the yoke of etiquette. The Abbe de Vermond had in 
some degree contributed to encourage this disposition in her. 
When she became Queen he endeavoured openly to induce 
her to shake off the restraints, the ancient origin of which she 
still respected. If he chanced to enter her apartment at the 
time she was preparing to go out, " For whom," he would say 
in a tone of raillery, " for whom is this detachment of warriors 
which I found in the Court ? Is it some general going to 
inspect his army ? Does all this military display become a 
young Queen adored by her subjects ? " He would take this 
opportunity to call to her mind the simplicity with which 
Maria Theresa lived ; the visits she made without guards or 
even attendants to the Prince d'Esterhazy, to the Count de 
Palfi, to pass whole days there far from the fatiguing cere- 
monies of the Crown. The Abbe thus flattered with baleful 
address the inclination of Marie Antoinette. He showed her 
by what expedients she might disguise even from herself her 
aversion for the haughty but venerated habits followed by 
he descendants of Louis XIV. 


The theatre, that fruitful and convenient resource of 
shallow minds, was the constant source of conversation at 
Court. 1 It was invariably the subject of discourse at the 
Queen's toilette. She wished to be informed of everything 
that occurred at a performance when she had not been 
present. The question " Was it well attended ? " was never 
omitted. I have seen more than one courteous Duke reply, 
with a bow, " There was not even a cat." This did not 
mean, as might be thought, that the theatre was empty ; it 
was even possible that it might be full ; but in that case it 
expressed that it was only filled with financiers, honest 
citizens and gentry from the country. The nobility — I should 
rather say the high nobility — knew none but their equals. It 
was necessary to have been presented to be admitted to their 
society. There were, moreover, among persons of this class 
a privileged few ; these were called persons of quality, and 
the persons of quality, who lived at Versailles and who were 
admitted to the King and Queen, were not without some 
feeling of contempt for those who only paid their respects 
once a week. Under these circumstances, a woman of quality 
who had been presented, and who was of the most illustrious 
family, might be disdainfully classed among those who were 
called " Sunday ladies." 

The retirement of Madame Louise and her removal from 
Court had only served to give her up entirely to the intrigues 
of the clergy. She received incessant visits from bishops, 
archbishops and ambitious priests of every rank ; she pre- 
vailed on the King her father to grant many ecclesiastical 
preferments, and probably looked forward to play an impor- 
tant part at the time when the King, weary of his pleasures 
and his licentious course of life, should begin to think of his 
salvation. This, perhaps, might have been the case had not 
a sudden and unexpected death put an end to his career. 
The project of Madame Louise fell to the ground in conse- 
quence of this event. She remained in her convent, from 
whence she continued to solicit favours, as I could well 
ascertain from the complaints of the Queen, who often said 
to me, " Here is another letter from my aunt Louise. She 

i A well-told story, a bon mot, an instance of laughable simplicity 
in a countryman, were also fortunate hits of which everyone hastened 
to avail himself. There were courtiers who were constantly in search 
of new incidents to relate, and it must be confessed that they had carried 
the agreeable art of narrating gracefully to a great extent. It was de- 
lightful to hear them ; but, without possessing a talent equal to theirs, it 
was difficult to repeat what they had been telling ; the tone and the style 
taken away, nothing remained. — Note by the Editor. 


is certainly the most intriguing little Carmelite that exists in 
the kingdom." The Court went to visit her about three times 
a year ; and I recollect that the Queen, intending to take her 
daughter there, ordered me to get a doll dressed like a 
Carmelite for her, that the young Princess might be accus- 
tomed, before she went into the convent, to the habit of her 
aunt the nun. 

In a situation where ambition keeps every passion awake, 
a word, a single reflection, may give rise to prejudice and 
excite hatred, and I cannot help thinking that the known 
aversion that existed between the Queen and Madame de 
Genlis originated in a reply of Marie Antoinette to the 
Duchess d'Orleans respecting that lady. On the day for 
paying respects to the Queen after the birth of the Dau- 
phin, the Duchess d'Orleans approached the couch to 
apologise for Madame de Genlis not appearing on an 
occasion when the whole Court hastened to congratulate 
Her Majesty on the birth of an heir. Indisposition had 
prevented her. The Queen replied that the Duchess de 
Chartres would have caused an apology to be made in 
such a case ; that the celebrity of Madame de Genlis 
might, indeed, have caused her absence to be noticed, but 
that she was not of a rank to send an apology for it. This 
proceeding on the part of the Princess, influenced by the 
talents of the governess of her children, proves, at any 
rate, that at this time she still desired the regard and the 
friendship of the Queen; and from this very moment un- 
favourable reflections on the habits and inclinations of the 
Sovereign, and sharp criticisms on the works and the con- 
duct of the female author, were continually interchanged 
between Marie Antoinette arid Madame de Genlis. At 
least, I am sure that the songs and epigrams that appeared 
against the governess of the Duke d'Orleans' children 
never failed to be brought to the Queen ; and it is most 
likely that the malice of courtiers transmitted with equal 
rapidity to the Palais Royal all that might have been said 
in the Queen's apartments to the disadvantage of Madame 
de Genlis. 

M. de Maurepas died on the 21st of November, one 
month after the birth of the Dauphin. The King seemed 
much affected at this loss. Whatever might be the in- 
difference and levity of this guide, habit had rendered him 
necessary. The King denied himself, at the time of his 


death, several gratifications, such as the chase and a dinner- 
party at Brunoy with Monsieur. He visited him several 
times when ill, and showed marks of real sensibility. M. de 
Vergennes, without inheriting the title of Prime Minister, 
completely occupied the place of M. de Maurepas about 
the King. 1 Political historians will decide on his talents 
and the errors which M. de Vergennes may have com- 
mitted. But plain reason has led me to give him credit for 
having contrived to conceal the weakness of his master's 
character from the eyes of all Europe. It cannot be denied 
that as long as he lived he covered Louis XVI. with a veil 
of respectability, of which the King seemed immediately 
deprived on the death of this minister. 2 

1 See among the Illustrations (M) some historical particulars of the 
means used by M. de Maurepas to maintain himself in the administration 
and to render the Duke de Choiseul more and more odious to Louis XVI. 
— Note by the Editor. 

2 " The manners of this minister," says Rhulieres in an article 
relating to M. de Vergennes, "were neither amiable nor polished, but 
sufficiently imposing. And why ? Because every man who can seclude 
himself in the midst of a Court and make his indifference for women and 
ostentation pass for a virtue resulting from reflection ; who can assume the 
grave exterior of a man of application, and obtain the reputation of being 
free from all kind of shuffling, will create the belief that he is devoted to 
public affairs, and never for an instant neglects the business of the State. 
M. de Vergennes had acquired this reputation so completely that, in one 
of those humorous conceits invented at Court as a refuge from ennui, he 
was figured as borne down by the pressure of labour. It was intended to 
represent the ministers and other distinguished personages in masque- 
rade. The Queen was to guess and discover the masks. The Count de 
Vergennes was represented bearing the globe on his head, a map of 
America on his breast, and that of England on his back. There are 
ministers who might be pictured holding in their hands the girdle of 
Venus and playing with the quiver of her son. 

" Upon another occasion a lady of the Court, old and ill-favoured, 
having approached the King's table dressed with more splendour than 
became her age and person, Monsieur asked her what she wanted. ' Ah ! 
what do I want ? I wish to beseech the King to obtain for me an audience 
from M. de Vergennes.' The King, joining heartily in the laugh with 
those around him, promised the old lady to procure her an interview with 
the minister before she died. 

" These events, however trifling they may appear, disclose what was 
the state of opinion, particularly at Court, where even their sports are 
never without some aim, some malicious points." (See Note N.) 

Rhulieres adds, some pages further on: "The Duke de Choiseul 
possessed great talents ; M. Turgot, much information ; M. de Ver- 
gennes, an imposing mediocrity; M. de Maupeou, a despotic firmness; 
M. de Calonne, an unpardonable degree of complaisance." 

This portrait of M. de Vergennes is, in general, too satirical, and we 
do not think that the reproach of mediocrity has any foundation. But a 
more serious charge is made against him : that of having consented to the 
treaty which ruined our manufactures. — Note by the Editor. 


Winter of 1788. 

The gratitude of the Parisians for the succours poured 
forth by the King and Queen was very lively and sincere. 
The snow was so abundant that since that period there has 
never been seen such a prodigious quantity in France. In 
different parts of Paris pyramids and obelisks of snow were 
erected, with inscriptions expressive of the gratitude of the 
people. The pyramid in the Rue d'Angiviller was par- 
ticularly deserving of attention : it was supported by a base 
of five or six feet high by twelve broad ; it rose to the height 
of fifteen feet, and was terminated by a globe. Four posts 
placed" at the angles corresponded with the obelisk, and gave 
it an appearance not devoid of elegance. Several inscriptions 
in honour of the King and Queen were affixed to it. 

I went to see this singular monument, and recollect the 
following inscription : 

" To Marie Antoinette. 

" Lovely and good, to tender pity true, 
Queen of a virtuous King, this trophy view ; 
Cold ice and snow sustain its form, 
But every grateful heart to thee is warm. 
Oh, may this tribute in your hearts excite, 
Illustrious pair, more pure and real delight 
(Whilst thus your virtues are sincerely praised) 
Than pompous domes by servile flattery raised." 

The theatres generally rang with praises of the benefi- 
cence of the Sovereigns. La Partic de Chasse de Henri IV. 
was represented for the benefit of the poor. The receipts 
were very considerable, and the audience vehemently called 
for the repetition of the following verses : 

" A virtuous King's benignant reign 

Relieves the sufferings of the poor; 
The Queen and all her brilliant train 

Drive sorrow from the cottage door ; 
The sons of labour cease their cries, 

Nor dread disease or famine's, sting ; 
The country with the palace vies 

To celebrate our bounteous King." ' 

I have not inserted these lines for their literary merit, 
but as showing the opinion most commonly entertained in 

1 Once, during the absence of the King, M. d'Angiviller caused an 
unfrequented room in the interior apartments to be repaired. This 
repair cost 30,000 francs. The King, being informed of the expense 
on his return, made the palace resound with exclamations and com- 
plaints against M. d'Angiviller. " I could have made thirty families 
happy," said Louis XVI. — Note by the Editor. 


Paris with respect to the King and Queen, just five years 
before the general and fatal shock which the French 
monarchy suffered. 

In order, then, to produce so complete a change in the 
long-cherished love of the people for their rulers, it re- 
quired the union of the principles of the new philosophy 
with the enthusiasm for liberty imbibed in the plains of 
America ; and that this eagerness for change and this en- 
thusiasm should be seconded by the weakness of the 
monarch, the incessant corruption of English gold, and 
by projects, either of revenge or of ambition, in the Duke 
d'Orleans. Let it not be thought that this accusation is 
founded on what has been so often repeated by the heads 
of the French Government since the Revolution. Twice, 
between the 14th of July, 1789, and the 6th of October in 
the same year, the day on which the Court was dragged 
to Paris, the Queen prevented me from making little ex- 
cursions thither of business or pleasure, saying to me, " Do 
not go on such a day to Paris ; the English have been 
scattering gold ; we shall have some disturbance." 

The repeated visits of this Prince to England had excited 
the Anglomania to such a pitch that Paris was no longer 
distinguishable from London. The French, constantly imi- 
tated by the whole of Europe, became on a sudden a nation 
of imitators, without considering the evils that arts and 
manufactures must suffer in consequence of the change. 
Since the treaty of commerce made with England at the 
peace of 1783, not merely equipages, but everything, even 
to ribbons and common earthenware, were of English make. 
If this predominance of English fashions had been confined 
to filling our drawing-rooms with young men in English 
frock-coats instead of the French dress, good taste and 
commerce might alone have suffered; but the principles of 
English government had taken possession of these young 
heads — Constitution, Upper House, Lower House, National 
guarantee, balance of power, Great Charter, Law of Habeas 
Corpus ; all these - words were incessantly repeated, rarely 
understood ; but they were of fundamental importance to a 
party which was then forming. 

The taste for dress which the Queen had indulged during 
the first years of her reign had given way to a love of 
simplicity, carried even to an impolitic extent, the splendour 
and magnificence of the throne being in France to a certain 
degree inseparable from the interests of the nation. 


Except on those days when the assemblies at Court were 
particularly attended, such as the 1st of January and the 
2nd of February, devoted to the procession of the Order of 
the Holy Ghost, and on the festivals of Easter, Whitsuntide 
and Christmas, the Queen no longer wore any dresses but 
muslin or white Florentine taffety. Her head-dress was 
merely a hat — the plainest were preferred ; and her dia- 
monds never quitted their caskets but for the dresses of 
ceremony, confined to the days I have mentioned. 

The Queen was not yet five-and-twenty, and already 
began to apprehend that she might be induced to make 
too frequent use of flowers and of ornaments, which at that 
time were exclusively reserved for youth. 

Mademoiselle Bertin having brought a wreath com- 
posed of roses for the head and neck, the Queen, in trying 
them, was fearful that the brightness of the flowers might 
be disadvantageous to her complexion. She was unquestion- 
ably too severe upon herself, her beauty having as yet ex- 
perienced no alteration — it is easy to conceive the concert 
of praise and compliment that replied to the doubt she had 
expressed. The Queen, approaching me, conceived the idea 
of promising to refer to my judgment the time when she 
should abandon the use of flowers in the way of ornament. 
"Think well of it," said she; "I charge you from this day 
to give me notice when flowers shall cease to become me." 
" I shall do no such thing," I replied immediately ; " I have 
not read Gil Bias without profiting in some degree from it, 
and I find Your Majesty's order too much like that given him 
by the Archbishop of Granada to warn him of the moment 
when he should begin to fall off in the composition of his 
homilies." " Go ! " said the Queen ; " you are less sincere 
than Gil Bias ; and I would have been more liberal than 
the Archbishop of Granada." 

The indiscreet zeal of courtiers is frequently prejudicial to 
the true interests of Princes. An erroneous proceeding on 
the part of M. Augeard, secretary to the Queen's orders, and 
farmer of the revenue, had greatly contributed to make it 
publicly believed that the Queen disposed of all the offices of 
finance. He had required the committee of farmers-general, 
without any authority to that effect, to inform him of the 
vacancies in any of the offices at all lucrative, assuring them 
that they would be acting in a manner very agreeable to 
the wishes of the Queen. The members of the committee 
acceded to this demand of M. Augeard, but not without 
complaining of it at their different meetings. The Queen at 


first only attributed to the zeal of her secretary the care he 
took to inform her of every vacancy ; but when she became 
acquainted with the proceeding he had adopted in the 
society he belonged to, she highly disapproved of it, caused 
this to be made known to the farmers of the revenue, and 
abstained from asking for financial situations. At the last 
lease of the taxes renewed by M. de Calonne she made but 
one request of this kind, and that was as a marriage portion 
to a young woman of family among her attendants. There 
was, however, at this period a great number of important 
situations to dispose of. Deeply afflicted at seeing the 
general conviction that the Queen disposed of all employ- 
ments without distinction, and having had information of 
some who were deprived of places to which they had good 
claims, under the pretext of demands made by the Queen, I 
advised them to write to Her Majesty to entreat her to 
let them know if she had asked for the situations to which 
they had just pretensions. The Queen was well satisfied 
with the confidence these individuals had placed in her, 
and caused an official answer to be returned to them, "that 
she had made no demand of the places they were soliciting, 
and that she authorised them to make use of her letter." 
These persons obtained the situations they desired. 

There was frequently seen in the gardens and the apart- 
ments at Versailles a veteran captain of the grenadiers of 
France, called the Chevalier d'Orville, who, during four 
years, had been soliciting of the Minister of War a majority, 
or the post of King's lieutenant. He was known to be very 
poor, but he supported his lot without ever complaining of 
this vexatious delay in rewarding his honourable services. 
He attended regularly upon the Marshal de Segur, at the 
hour appointed by the minister for receiving the numerous 
solicitations in his department. One day the Marshal said 
to him, "You are still at Versailles, M. d'Orville ? " " Sir," 
replied this brave officer, " you may observe that by this 
board of the flooring, where I regularly place myself; it is 
already worn down several lines by the weight of my body." 
This reply was circulated at Versailles ; I heard of it. 

The Queen frequently stood at the window of her bed- 
chamber to observe with her glass the people who were 
walking in the park. Sometimes she enquired of her at- 
tendants the names of those persons who were unknown 
to her. One day she saw the Chevalier d'Orville passing, 
and asked me the name of that knight of Saint-Louis, whom 
she had seen everywhere and for a long time past. I knew 


who he was, and related his history. "That must be put 
an end to," said the Queen, with some degree of vivacity. 
" With all due deference to our Court patrons, such an 
example of indifference is calculated to discourage the mili- 
tary : a man may be extremely brave and yet have no 
protector." " That affair will be settled whenever Your 
Majesty shall please to take it in hand," I replied. " Yes, 
yes," said the Queen without explaining herself further, and 
she turned her glass towards some other persons who were 
walking. The next day, in crossing the gallery to go to 
Mass, the Queen perceived the Chevalier d'Orville. She 
stopped and went directly towards him. The poor man 
fell back in the recess of a window, looking to the right 
and left to discover the person towards whom the Queen 
was directing her steps, when she addressed him : " M. 
d'Orville, you have been several years at Versailles, solicit- 
ing a majority or a King's lieutenancy. You must have 
very powerless patrons." " I have none, madam," replied 
the Chevalier, in great confusion. " Well ! I will take you 
under my protection. To-morrow, at the same hour, be here 
with a petition and a memorial of your services." A fort- 
night after M. d'Orville was appointed King's lieutenant, 
either at La Rochelle or at Rochefort. 1 

The genuine sensibility of the Queen furnished her upon 
the instant with the most flattering and honourable expres- 

1 It seems that Louis XVI. vied with his Queen in benevolent 
actions of this kind. An old officer had in vain solicited a pension 
during the administration of the Duke de Choiseul. He had returned 
to the charge in the times of the Marquis de Monteynard and the Duke 
d'Aiguillon. He had urged his claims to Count de Muy, who had made 
a note of them, with the best intentions in the world to serve him ; but 
the effect did not correspond with the minister's wishes. Tired of so 
many fruitless efforts, he at last appeared at the King's supper, and 
having placed himself so as to be seen and heard, cried out, at a moment 
when silence prevailed, " Sire ! " The people near him said, " What are 
you about? That is not the way to speak to the King." "I fear 
nothing," said he; and, raising his voice, repeated, " Sire ! " The King, 
much surprised, looked at him and said, " What do you want, sir ? " 
"Sire," answered he, "I am seventy years of age; I have served my 
King more than fifty years, and I am dying of want." " Have you a 
memorial ? " replied the King. " Yes, Sire, I have." " Give it to me; " 
and His Majesty took it without saying anything more. The next morn- 
ing an exempt of the guards was sent by the King into the great gallery 
to look for the officer, who was walking there. The exempt said to him, 
" The King desires to see you, sir ; " and he was immediately conducted 
into the King's closet. His Majesty said, " Sir, I grant you an annuity 
of 1,500 livres out of my privy purse ; and you may go and receive the 
first year's payment, which is become due." ("Secret Correspondence 
of the Court: Reign of Louis XVI.") — Note by the Editor. 


sions towards those she esteemed. When M. Loustonneau, 
first surgeon to the Princes of France, was appointed to the 
reversion of the situation of M. Andouille, first surgeon to the 
King, he came, at the Queen's breakfast hour, to make his 
acknowledgments. This worthy man was generally beloved 
at Versailles ; he had devoted himself to the care of the 
poorer class, and expended upon indigent invalids nearly 30,000 
francs a year. His excessive modesty could not prevent such 
extensive charities from eventually becoming known. After 
receiving from the benevolent Loustonneau the homage of 
his gratitude, the Queen said to him, " You are satisfied, 
sir ; but I am far from being so with the inhabitants of Ver- 
sailles. Upon the news of the favour the King has just con- 
ferred on you the town should have been illuminated." And 
why so, madam ? " said the first surgeon, with an air of 
anxious astonishment. " Ah ! " replied the Queen, in a tone 
of sensibility, " if all the poor whom you have succoured for 
twenty years past had but each placed a single candle in 
their window, it would have been the most beautiful illumi- 
nation ever witnessed." 

The very day on which the King announced that he gave 
his assent to the convocation of the States - General, the 
Queen left the public dinner and placed herself in the recess 
of the first window of her bed-chamber, with her face towards 
the garden. Her chief butler followed her, to present her 
coffee, which she usually took standing as she was about to 
leave the table. She made me a sign to come near her. 
The King was engaged in conversation with someone in his 
room. When the attendant had served her he retired ; and 
she addressed me, with the cup still in her hand, " Good 
God ! what fatal news goes forth this day ! The King as- 
sents to the convocation of the States-General." Then she 
added, raising her eyes to heaven, "I dread it; this important 
event is a first fatal signal of discord in France." She cast 
her eyes down ; they were filled with tears. She could not take 
the remainder of her coffee, but handed me the cup and went 
to join the King. In the evening, when she was alone with 
me, she spoke only of this momentous decision. " It is the 
Parliament," said she, " that has reduced the King to the 
necessity of having recourse to a measure long considered as 
fatal to the repose of the kingdom. These gentlemen wish 
to restrain the power of the King; but this at least is certain, 
that they give a great shock to the authority of which they 
make so bad a use, and that they will bring on their own 
destruction. That, perhaps, is the only favourable view that 
can be taken of such an alarming proceeding." 


Extract from different Letters of Madame Campan, First Femme 
de Chambre to the Queen, from the 5th of October to the 31st of 
December, 1789. 

I know not whether I shall have strength to give you a 
description of the afflicting scenes that have lately taken place 
almost under my very eyes. My scattered senses are not 
yet collected, my dreams are horrid, my slumbers painful. 
My sister was with the Queen during the night of the 5th ; I 
obtained from her part of the circumstances I am about to 
relate. When M. de la Fayette had left the King, saying 
that he was going to quarter his troops as well as he could, 
everyone in the palace hoped to enjoy the consolation of 
repose. The Queen herself went to bed, and when my sister 
had done waiting on her, she retired into the chamber im- 
mediately before the Queen's; there, giving way to accents 
of grief, she burst into tears, and said to her companions, 
"Is it a time to retire to bed when the town is occupied by 
thirty thousand troops, ten thousand ruffians, and two-and- 
forty pieces of cannon ?" " Surely not," they replied ; " we 
must not think of committing so great an error." They all, 
therefore, remained dressed, and took their rest reclining on 
their beds. It was then four o'clock. Exactly at six the host 
of ruffians, having forced the barriers, took their course 
towards Her Majesty's apartment. My sister was the first 
who heard these dreadful words : " Save the Queen." The 
body-guard who pronounced them received thirteen wounds 
at the very door from whence he gave us the alarm. Had 
the Queen's women gone to bed Her Majesty would have 
been lost ; they had only time to rush into her chamber, 
snatch her out of bed, throw a covering over her, carry her 
into the King's apartment, and close in the best manner they 
could the door of the gallery that leads to it. She fell sense- 
less into the arms of her august husband. You know what 
has happened since : the King, yielding to the wishes of the 
capital, went thither with his whole family on the morning of 
the 6th. The journey occupied seven hours and a half, 
during which we heard incessantly a continued noise of thirty 
thousand muskets, loaded with ball, which were charged and 
discharged in token of joy for the happiness of conducting 
the King to Paris. They cried out, but in vain, " Fire 
straight ! " In spite of this notice, the balls sometimes struck the 
ornaments of the carriages ; the smell of the powder almost 
suffocated us, and the crowd was so immense that the people, 
pressing the coaches on all sides, gave them the motion of a 
boat. If you wish to form an idea of this march, conceive a 
multitude of half-clad ruffians, armed with sabres, pistols, 
vol. 11 21 


spits, saws ; old partisans, marching without order, shouting, 
yelling, headed by a monster, a tiger, whom the municipality 
of Paris sought out with the utmost care, a man with a long 
beard, who till now served as a model at the Academy of 
Painting, and who, since the troubles, has yielded to his 
desire for murder, and has himself cut off the heads of all the 
wretched victims of popular frenzy. When we consider that 
it was this very mob that, at six in the morning, had forced 
the barrier of the marble staircase, broken open the doors of 
the ante-chamber, and penetrated even to the spot where 
that brave guard made a resistance sufficiently long to give 
us time to save the Queen— when we recollect that this 
dreadful army filled the streets of Versailles during the whole 
night, we still find that Heaven has protected us; we perceive 
the power of Providence, and this danger passed gives us 
hopes for the future. Moreover, it was now ascertained that 
all these terrible events, of which I have only been able to 
give you a faint sketch, were the horrid result of the foulest, 
the most abominable conspiracy. The city of Paris is en- 
gaged in discovering the authors ; but I doubt whether they 
will be all brought to light, and I believe that posterity alone 
will be fully informed of these dreadful secrets. 

The severity of military law, the great activity of the com- 
manders of the militia and city guard, the attachment, the 
veneration of all citizens in the capital for the august family 
that has come within its walls, and is fully determined to 
remain there till the new Constitution shall be completed — 
these afford the only prospect capable of affording any con- 
solation to our bosoms. 

Since the Queen has been at Paris her Court is well 
attended ; she dines three times a week in public with the 
King; her card-rooms are open on those days. Though 
the apartments are small, all Paris is to be found there. 
She converses with the commanders of districts ; she finds 
familiar opportunities of saying obliging things even to the 
private soldiers, among whom citizens of the first class are 
to be found, as well as the lowest artisans : mildness, resigna- 
tion, courage, affability, popularity, everything is made use 
of, and sincerely, to reconcile people's minds and concur in 
the re-establishment of order. Everyone does justice to such 
affecting attentions, and that is a reparation for the cruel 
sufferings that have been endured and the dreadful risks that 
had been encountered. Upon the whole, nothing can be 
more prudent or more consistent than the conduct of the 
King and Queen, and therefore the number of their partisans 
increases daily. They are spoken of with enthusiasm in 
almost every company. I have lost much on the score of the 
happiness, the enjoyments and the hopes of life, but I am 


exceedingly flattered in being attached to a Princess who in 
moments of adversity has displayed a character so generous 
and so elevated ; she is an angel of mildness and of goodness ; 
she is a woman particularly gifted with courage. I am in 
hopes that the clouds accumulated about her by the impure 
breath of calumny will dissipate ; and at the Queen's age, 
and with her virtues, she may still expect to resume in history 
and in the eyes of posterity that rank from which she cannot 
be removed without injustice. Princes assailed by imbecility 
and vice towards their decline have in vain displayed some 
virtues in early youth ; their latter years efface the splendour 
of their earlier, and they carry to the tomb the hatred and 
contempt of their subjects. How many happy years has our 
amiable Queen yet to pass ? — and when she acts of her own 
accord she is always sure of the most complete success. She 
has given proofs of it in the most critical moments ; and Paris, 
replete with the most seditious opinions — Paris, continually 
reading the most disgusting libels, could not refuse her the 
admiration due to true courage, presence of mind and 
courteousness. Her bitterest enemies confine themselves to 
saying, " It must be confessed that she is a woman of strong 
mind." I cannot express to you how anxious I am with re- 
spect to the opinion that is entertained of this interesting 
Princess in foreign Courts : have those shameless libels been 
sent thither ? Is it believed in Russia that one Madame de 
Lamotte was ever the favourite of the Queen ? Do they give 
credit to all the abominable reports of that infernal schemer ? 
I hope not : the justice, the reparation that are due to 
this Princess never cease to engage my thoughts. I should 
lose my senses if I were a little younger, and if my imagina- 
tion were as lively as my heart is sensitive. I, who have seen 
her for fifteen years attached to her august husband, to her 
children, gracious to her servants — unfortunately, too affable, 
too unaffected, too much on a level with the people of the 
Court — I cannot endure to see her character vilified. I wish 
I had a hundred mouths, I wish I had wings, that I might 
inspire that confidence in listening to truth which is so readily 
yielded to falsehood. Let us still pray that time will bring 
about this important object. 

The Queen's Opinions of the Nobility. 

The Queen has frequently said to me, " The nobility will 
ruin us ; but I believe we cannot save ourselves without them. 
We act sometimes in a manner that offends them, but only 
with good intentions towards them. Nevertheless, when I 
encounter angry looks from those who surround us, I am 

21 — 2 


grieved at it ; then we adopt some proceeding, or impart some- 
thing in confidence to encourage all these poor people, who 
really have a great deal to suffer. They spread it abroad ; 
the revolutionists are informed of it, and take the alarm ; the 
Assembly becomes more urgent and more malignant, and 
dangers increase." 

The power of Louis XIV. had long ceased to exist at Ver- 
sailles, yet all the exterior forms of this absolute authority 
still prevailed in 1789. 

This monarch, in the latter years of his reign, had paid for 
his warlike ambition by reverses from which the nation had 
suffered greatly. Become old, his remorse and the devotion 
of his last mistress rendered him weak and bigoted. 

The priests governed, and obtained from him violent edicts 
against his subjects of the Reformed Churches. A multitude 
of industrious Frenchmen, manufacturers, abandoned their 
country and carried their useful labours among neighbouring 
people. The decree which produced so fatal an effect to 
France is called the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 

For the Edict of Nantes the nation was indebted to 
Henry IV. ; it secured to all the various churches the free 
exercise of their religion. 

Louis XIV. died. He left, as heir to the Crown, his great- 
grandson, five years of age. This Prince had for Regent his 
uncle, the Duke d'Orleans, witty, volatile and licentious. He 
ventured on systems of finance which ruined France, and 
addicted himself to public debauchery, and a contempt for 
every sentiment and duty of religion, by which licentious- 
ness quickly succeeded to hypocrisy. The Government of 
Louis XV. was weak. During the first years of his reign his 
youth, his beauty, and some success in arms made him 
beloved by the French ; shortly after, the most unbridled 
libertinism caused him to lose this early affection of the 
people, and even deprived him of the esteem of his Court. 

On the death of Louis XV., Louis XVI. ascended the 
throne, with all the virtues of a man but few of those which 
become a great monarch, and which are indispensable in 
times when the people are agitated by the spirit of faction. 1 

1 Louis XVI. had not the qualities of a great King, yet with a firm 
and able minister who had known how to fix his wavering resolution, 
defeat the intrigues of courtiers and overpower their resistance, he 
would have evinced the virtues and reigned with the character of a good 
King. No Prince was ever more anxious for the public good ; and even 
in 1791, when the overthrow of his power and the contempt of his 
authority presented to his mind the most painful reflections, his chief 


The Queen was amiable, sensible, handsome and of a 
good disposition. The slanders that have been cast on this 
Princess are the fruit of the spirit of discontent which pre- 
vailed at that time. But she loved pleasure, and was too 
fond of exciting admiration of her beauty. Amusements and 
festivals lulled the Court into security, until the very moment 
of the dreadful shock prepared by opinions introduced into 
France during the preceding half-century, and which had 
already obtained an imposing influence. 

Three ministers, who had calculated the danger of this 
fermentation of ideas, endeavoured successively to operate 
a reform of abuses — in a word, to repair the worn-out 
machinery of absolute power by new laws of reformation 
and regeneration. They could not do it without attacking the 

affliction arose from the calamities which the nation then suffered, and 
the evils which he foresaw it was destined to endure. 

" We witnessed, in the Council," says Bertrand de Molleville, 
" during the Legislative Assembly, a scene much too interesting to be 
passed over in silence. M. Cahier de Gerville read a draft of a pro- 
clamation relative to the murders and robberies which were committed 
in many departments upon the nobles and their property, under the con- 
demnatory pretext of ' aristocracy.' In this draft was the following 
expression : ' These disorders interrupt the happiness we enjoy in the 
most grievous manner.' ' Alter that phrase,' said the King to M. Cahier 
de Gerville, who, after reading it again, answered that he did not 
perceive what there was to alter. ' Do not make me talk about my 
happiness, sir; I cannot lie at that rate; how can I be happy, M. de 
Gerville, when no one in France is so? No, sir, the French are not 
happy ; I see it but too plainly ; I hope they will be so one day ; I 
ardently wish it; then I shall be so likewise, and may talk of my 

" These words, which the King pronounced with extreme feeling, 
and with tears in his eyes, made the most lively impression on us, and 
were followed by a general silence of emotion, which lasted two or three 
minutes. His Majesty, doubtless fearing lest this burst of sensibility, 
which he had not been able to restrain, should raise any doubt of his 
attachment to the Constitution, seized, with much address, shortly after- 
wards, an opportunity of evincing, at least, his scrupulous fidelity to the 
oath he had taken to maintain it, by adopting the course most conform- 
able to the Constitution in a matter brought forward by M. Cahier de 
Gerville, who advised the opposite proceeding, and was amazed to find 
the King more constitutional than himself. 

" This religious probity of the King with respect to the fatal oath 
which had been wrested from him, and his tender concern for the 
welfare of a nation of which he had so much reason to complain, at 
once excited our astonishment and our admiration." 

Louis XVI. had imbibed his love of the people and this desire to 
render them happy from the works of Fenelon. The writings of Nicole 
and the "Telemachus" were continually read by him. He had ex- 
tracted from them maxims of government by which he wished to 
abide ; and the particulars given in the Historical Illustrations (O) on 
this subject, and on the methodical habits of this Prince, will be found 
interesting. — Note by the Editor. 


privileges of the nobility and the clergy ; these classes con- 
sidered them imprescriptible, and do so still, even after the 
torrent of a most terrible revolution has swept away the last 
traces of their privileges and their wealth. 

The three ministers, Turgot, 1 Malesherbes, and Necker,- 
were overthrown by the power of those ancient classes. 

The impolitic desire of diminishing the power of Eng- 
land had induced Louis XVI. to embrace the cause of the 
American insurgents against the mother-country. Our youth 
flew to the wars waged in the New World for liberty and 
against the rights of thrones. Liberty prevailed ; they re- 
turned triumphant to France, and brought with them the 
seeds of independence. Letters from various military men 
were frequently received at the Palace of Versailles, the 
seals of which bore the thirteen stars of the United States 
surrounding the cap of Liberty ; and the Chevalier de 
Parny, one of the most esteemed poets of the day, brother 
to one of the Queen's equerries and himself attendant on 
the Court, published an epistle to the citizens of Boston, 
in which were found the following lines : 

" You, happy people, freed from Kings and Queens, 
Dance to the rattling of the chains that bind, 
In servile shame, the rest of human kind." 

Soon after, financial embarrassments, the stubborn oppo- 
sition of the Parliaments and the unskilfulness of the Minis- 
ter De Lomenie de Brienne led to the convocation of the 
States-General. Notwithstanding the excesses which sullied 
this epoch, notwithstanding the subversion of all the ancient 
institutions, good might still have been accomplished if the 
Constituent Assembly had yielded to the advice and intelli- 
gence of that party which demanded not only a guarantee for 
national liberty, but the advantages of an hereditary nobility, 
by the formation of an Upper Chamber, composed of nobles, 
who should no longer be exposed to see talents rendered 

1 When M. de Maurepas proposed Turgot as a minister to 
Louis XVI., the King said to him, with a degree of candour highly- 
respectable, " It is said that M. Turgot never goes to Mass." " Well, 
Sire," replied Maurepas, " the Abbe Terray goes to it every day." This 
was enough to remove all the King's prejudices. (" Universal Biography," 
vol. xxvii.) — Note by the Editor. 

2 M. Necker wished for the support of the favour and confidence of 
the people ; and, resembling M. Turgot so far, he could not be agreeable 
to the clergy, or the nobility, who were absolute strangers to the per- 
sonal predilections of the Genevese minister. The clergy murmured at 
the choice of a Protestant minister. " I will give him up to you if you 
will pay the National Debt," said M. de Maurepas to an archbishop 
who was scandalised at his nomination. (" History of Marie Antoinette," 
by Montjoie.) — Note by Madame Campan. 


useless to the welfare of the State, from the will of a 
Sovereign or the hatred of a favourite. Names worthy of 
respect were found at the head of this party : the Marquis 
de Lally-Tollendal, the Viscount de Noailles, the Marquis 
de la Fayette, Malouet, Mounier, &c. The Duke d'Orleans 
ranked among them for a short time, but only as a factious, 
discontented man, ready to shift successively into every 
party that was most extravagant. At that time, to speak at 
Court of the English Constitution, to place the King of 
France on a level with a King of England, appeared as 
criminal as if it had been proposed to dethrone the King 
and to. destroy the crown adorned with lilies. The rejec- 
tion by the Court of that party which desired two cham- 
bers, afforded time for a more Republican party to form 
itself and obtain the support of popular influence. M. de 
la Fayette, imbued with the American principles which he 
had served with so much glory, found himself placed at the 
head of this party. After the 6th of October, 1789, six 
months subsequent to the opening of the States-General, 
almost the whole of the partisans of the English Constitution 
emigrated and withdrew from the horrors that threatened 

A man unhappily worthy of the fame of the orators of 
Greece and Rome, Mirabeau, embraced the cause of a more 
Republican Constitution. The Court was naturally still more 
opposed to this than to the former wishes of the friends of 
the English Constitution. 

The revolutionists inflamed the people, called them to 
their assistance, armed them. Mansions were burnt or 
pillaged, all the nobles compelled to quit France. The 
Palace of Versailles was besieged by the populace of Paris ; 
the King was dragged to the capital in a cruel and de- 
grading manner, his carriage preceded by a horde who 
carried in triumph the heads of two of his guards. The 
deputies, amid the storm, laboured to complete the Consti- 
tutional Act ; the King, as the executive power, was too 
much deprived of authority by it. He foresaw the im- 
possibility of carrying on such a Constitution, and fled with 
his family. His organised flight, and his intentions, being 
betrayed, afforded time to the Assembly to have him arrested 
as he approached the frontiers of the kingdom ; he was 
brought back with the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, the 
virtuous Elizabeth, Madame and the Dauphin. On the 
road they endured every insult from a licentious mob. 

As this period the Jacobins, a furious and sanguinary 
faction, at whose head were Robespierre and Marat, wished 
to obtain a declaration of the deposition of the King, and to 
found a republic. The Constitutional party, though much 


weakened, had still sufficient strength to oppose it. The 
Constitution was finished ; the King, who since the failure of 
his flight had remained in arrest, was restored to liberty, and 
came to take, on this new charter, the oath to maintain and 
defend it. Brilliant festivals were held, which preceded by 
a very short interval days of mourning and despair. Two 
decrees which the King rejected — that which menaced the 
priests, and that relative to forming a camp round Paris — 
served as a pretext for the most violent attacks directed 
against him. Unfortunately the King thought that, without 
altering his course, he should be withdrawn from his restric- 
tions and released from his forced engagements. He was 
deceived : the whole nation advanced ; the foreign troops 
were repulsed ; the Palace of the Tuileries besieged ; the 
King and his family confined in the Temple, which they 
never quitted but to mount the scaffold, with the exception 
of Madame and the young Prince, the latter of whom died a 
victim to the ill-treatment to which he was subjected. 

The Emperor Joseph II. evinced, in November, 1783, and 
still more in May, 1784, pretensions of a perplexing nature on 
the Republic of the United Provinces. He demanded the 
opening of the Scheldt, the cession of Maestricht with its 
dependencies, of the country beyond the Meuse, the county 
of Vroenhoven and a sum of 70,000,000 florins. 

The first gun was fired by the Emperor, on the Scheldt, 
the 5th of November, 1784. 

Peace was concluded and signed the 8th of November, 
1785, between the Emperor and the United Provinces, under 
the mediation of France. 

The singular part was the indemnification granted to the 
Emperor ; this was a sum of 10,000,000 Dutch florins ; the 
Articles 15, 16 and 17 of the treaty stipulated the quotas of 
it. Holland paid 5,500,000, and France, under the direction 
of M. de Vergennes, 4,500,000 florins — that is to say, 9,045,000 
francs, according to M. Soulavie. 

M. de Segur, in his work entitled "Policy of Cabinets" 
(vol. hi.), says, in a note on a Memoir by M. de Vergennes, 
relative to this affair : 

" M. de Vergennes has been much blamed for having 
terminated by a sacrifice of seven millions the contest that 
existed between the United Provinces and the Emperor. 
In that age of philosophy men were still very uncivilised ; 
in that age of commerce they made very erroneous calcula- 
tions, and those who accused the Queen of sending the gold 
of France to her brother would have been better pleased if, 


to support a Republic void of energy, the blood of two 
hundred thousand men and three or four hundred millions of 
francs had been sacrificed, and incurred the risk of losing the 
advantage of the peace concluded with England at the same 
time. It is grievous and humiliating to see in what manner, 
and by whom, such criticisms are made ; those who call to 
mind all the violent declamations then indulged in against 
the policy of the Cabinet of Versailles will see, in the Memoirs 
of M. de Vergennes, with what prudence the ministers, ac- 
cused by ignorance, presumption and folly, then deliberated." 


The collection of celebrated trials has rendered the 
important service of inducing in the world a salutary mis- 
trust of appearances of criminality. What advantage would 
not society derive from a collection of all the accounts of 
these impostors ; from those who, passing themselves off 
for Sovereigns, or heirs of Sovereign power, have formed 
parties, and involved credulous people in difficulties, down 
to those who, born in an obscure rank, have assumed the 
names of persons of a superior class, or have obtained credit 
for intimate connections with the great, and even with 
crowned heads. Alas ! the unheard-of misfortunes of Marie 
Antoinette are to be attributed, in a great degree, to the 
audacious falsehoods of a woman whose person even was 
unknown to her ; and who had found means to persuade the 
Cardinal de Rohan that she was an intimate and secret 
friend of that illustrious and unfortunate Princess. There is 
no class in which these ingenious and dangerous characters 
do not succeed in disturbing the peace of society, and 
carrying misery and desolation into the most respectable 
families. If their mischievous genius leads them to have 
recourse to legal and judicial forms to support their 
impudent falsehoods, the marvellous, which always accom- 
panies statements destitute of probability, engages and 
amuses the indifferent, and generally excites the self-con- 
ceit of some lawyer, who believes, no doubt, that he is 
defending the cause of persons oppressed by fraud, avarice 
or power. The most prudent feeling is to have a mistrust of 
the wonderful, and to say of a thing which is opposed to the 
laws of honour, of probity and propriety — it is likely that 
this is not true. This valuable mistrust would be generally 
promoted by the collection which I should like to see entrusted 
to the care of some eminent lawyer. These reflections pre- 
cede the history, but little known, of a female intriguer of 


the lowest class in society, and whose audacious falsehoods 
involved the most illustrious and most estimable characters. 

My father had provided for me a sort of governess, or 
rather upper nurse, who had a niece of the same age as mine. 
Till the period of our receiving the first Sacrament she was 
accustomed to pass her holidays with her aunt, and to play 
with me. When she had reached the age of twelve years, my 
father, whose caution was not influenced by any feeling of 
pride, declared that he would no longer permit her to come 
to play with me and my sisters. Desirous of educating us in 
the most careful manner, he dreaded our forming an intimate 
connection with a young person destined to the situation of a 
seamstress or embroiderer. The girl was pretty, fair and of 
a very modest demeanour. Six years after the period at 
which my father had forbidden her entrance into his house, 
the Duke de la Vrilliere, then M. le Comte de Saint-Florentiri, 
sent to enquire of my father, " Have you," he said, " in your 
service, an old woman named Paris ? " My father replied 
that she had brought us up, and was still in his family. " Do 
you know her young niece ? " rejoined the minister. Then my 
father told him what the prudence of a parent, desirous that 
his children should never have any but useful connections, 
had suggested to him six years before. " You have acted 
very prudently," said M. de Saint-Florentin to him. " During 
the forty years I have been in the government I never met with 
a more impudent impostor than this little hussy ; she has 
implicated in her fabrications our illustrious monarch, our 
virtuous Princesses, Mesdames Adelaide and Victoire, and 
the worthy M. Baret, Cure of St. Louis, who at this moment 
is suspended from his clerical functions until this infamous 
charge is perfectly cleared up. The little baggage is now in 
the Bastille. Only conceive," added he, " that by means of 
her crafty misrepresentations, she has obtained more than 
60,000 francs from several credulous people at Versailles ; to 
some she affirmed that she was the King's mistress ; suffered 
them to accompany her to the glass door that opens into the 
gallery, and entered the King's apartment by the private 
door, it being opened for her by some of the pages in the 
palace, who received her favours. Nearly at the same time 
she sent for Gauthier, the surgeon to the light-horse, to 
attend a woman in labour at her house, whose face was 
covered with a black crape; and she provided the surgeon 
with the napkins that were necessary, and which were all 
marked with the crown, according to the depositions of 
Gauthier. She also brought him a warming-pan with the 
arms of the Princesses on it, to warm the bed for this 
female ; and a silver basin marked in the same way. In 
consequence of the investigations entered upon with respect 


to this affair, we also know that it was a young man, a 
servant in the family of Mesdames, who procured her 
these articles ; but she put this odious and wicked lie 
in circulation among people of her own class, and it has 
extended even to some whose opinions are of more im- 
portance. This is not yet all," said the minister; "she has 
confessed all her crimes ; but in the midst of tears and sobs 
of penitence, she declared that she was born with virtuous 
inclinations, and had been led into the path of vice by her 
confessor, the curate M. Baret, who had seduced her at the 
age of fourteen. The curate has been confronted with her. 
The wretch, whose air and demeanour were far from indi- 
cating the perverseness of her disposition and habits, had the 
effrontery to maintain in his presence what she had declared, 
and even dared to support this declaration by a circumstance 
which seemed to imply the most intimate connection, by telling 
the worthy priest that he had a mark on his left shoulder. 
At these words the curate desired that a valet de chambre, 
formerly in his service, and whom he had discharged for his 
bad conduct, might be immediately arrested. The subsequent 
interrogatories have shown that this rascal had also been in 
the number of the girl's favourites, and that it was from him 
that she got the information as to the mark which she had the 
impudence and audacity to refer to." The poor curate Baret 
suffered a serious illness from the anxiety he underwent during 
this troublesome and unmerited proceeding. However, the 
King had the kindness to receive him on his return to 
Versailles, and to say to him that he ought to consider that 
nothing could be held sacred by such an impudent wretch. 
When the matter was fully cleared up, the minister removed 
this vile impostor from the Bastille, and she was sent to pass 
the remainder of her days in confinement in St. Pelagie. 

The Courtly Abbe. 

The day on which the Queen received the first visit of the 
Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Russia at Versailles, a 
multitude, eager to obtain a sight, filled the palace and besieged 
the doors. The Queen had assigned to me the care of her 
inner closets, with the order to suffer no one to pass that way 
but the daughter of the Duchess de Polignac, then a child, 
and who was to place herself near her couch within the 
balustrade, to be present at the reception of the Grand Duke. 
A young abbe slipped into the closets, crossed the library, and 
opened the door communicating with the interior of this 
balustrade. I hastened towards him, and stopped him ; he 


stepped back a few paces and said to me, " Pardon me, 
madam ; I am fresh from college ; I am not acquainted with 
the interior of the Palace of Versailles ; the only direction my 
father gave me was this: "My son, continue to go straight 
forward till you are stopped, then submit respectfully to the 
order. You stop me, madam ; I withdraw, and beg you to 
excuse me." This young man certainly knew how to advance 
with confidence and to stop with prudence. 

On the Court. 

The art of war is incessantly exercised at Court. Ranks, 
dignities, private audiences, but above all favour, keep up an 
uninterrupted strife, which excludes thence all idea of peace'. 
Those who give themselves up to the service of the Court 
often speak of their children, of the sacrifices they make for 
them, and their language is sincere. The courtier most in 
favour, of the highest credit, only finds strength to resist the 
anxiety he endures in the idea that he devotes himself for the 
advancement or the fortune of those who belong to him ; he 
who is not supported by these laudable sentiments thinks of 
the honour of being able to pay his debts, or the gratification 
he derives from the pleasure of shining in the eyes of those 
who are ignorant of his secret griefs. 

La Fontaine has said of favour : " It is preserved with 
trouble and anxiety, to be lost with despair." 

Never could a better definition be given of the splendid and 
harassing yoke borne by the man in favour. The moment the 
Prince utters a word that indicates his esteem or admiration of 
anyone, the first impulse of the courtiers is to be the echo of 
the Prince's sentiments ; but this first step is only made to put 
them in a situation to ruin him who has been favourably 
noticed. Then begins the game of intrigue ; if it can be 
accomplished, they destroy this new object of uneasiness by 
calumny ; the favourable idea of the Prince is diverted or 
destroyed, and they enjoy this easy victory. But if the 
Sovereign, persevering in his opinion and his sentiments, 
selects from the ranks the man whom he has noticed, and 
in whom he believes he has recognised useful talents or 
amiable qualities, and introduces him among his favourites, 
the attack becomes incessant ; years do not abate the 
ardour of it ; they assume all forms, all means to ruin 
him. The public then come to the assistance of the cour- 
tiers ; it is no longer these who speak. On the contrary, 
officious attentions and respect respond immediately to the 
favour of the monarch ; and with these they charm, they 


bewilder the head of their victim ; they disguise their 
jealousy, they leave it to Time to weaken the fascination 
of the Prince ; they know that men's sentiments are dis- 
posed to change ; they perceive the moment when the first 
warmth of prepossession decays ; they begin their attack. 
If these first attempts awaken the attention of the monarch 
and enable him to observe the manoeuvres of the courtiers, 
if he give some new mark of favour to the object of their 
envy, they fall back immediately and adjourn their project. 
The man of the greatest merit will have some failings 
or commit some errors; they reckon upon them, look out 
for them, exaggerate them, circulate them in society, and 
they are reported to the Prince under the mask of zeal 
and perfect devotion to his interests ; in the end they 
generally succeed in the object. Favour only saves from 
these cruel and persevering attacks those who, from their 
place at Court, never quit the Prince, and are able to 
defend themselves at all hours, both by day and by night. 
The labours of ministers do not allow them this facility ; 
they can only appear at Court for short intervals ; for 
this reason they are easily attacked and displaced when 
the King has not made it a principle, whatever he may 
hear said, to make as few changes as possible. Employ- 
ments which leave intervals of repose never obtain any 
great favour because they afford time for the indefatigable 
underminers at Court. While the action is thus warm 
within the palace, they take care to direct some arrows, 
even to a distance, against everyone who has merit ; the)' 
know that merit affords means of rising from the multi- 
tude, and that it is easier to attack it while it is still in 
the crowd. To see anyone disgraced never gives pain ; 
he is a man fallen back into the ranks. Death and dis- 
grace excite only the same idea at Court : by whom will 
he who is fallen be replaced ? 

Reply to M. de Lacretelle the Younger on the Subject 
of his Work. 

The letter you have done me the honour to address to 
me reached me at Coudreaux, the seat of the Duchess 
d'Elchingen, where I went to spend a few days. You do 
not give me your address ; nevertheless I desire to have 
the honour of thanking you for the obliging manner in 
which you have written to me in consequence of some re- 
flections I ventured to transmit to you relative to your 
" History of France." 


Everyone should hasten to communicate actual facts to 
an author who knows how to render them so interesting, 
to combine them with so much art, to narrate them with 
so much taste, and to deduce from them such just and 
luminous results ; but in occupying yourself with history 
in general, you must, sir, have studied that of the human 
heart ; you must have observed that constant carelessness 
with regard to the success of the most laudable under- 
takings which is only equalled by a no less persevering 
disposition to criticise them. I think, then, that you 
should not have waited for useful information, but have 
taken more trouble to obtain it. The Baron de Breteuil 
was much broken when he returned to France ; but old 
men have a lively memory for old anecdotes, and he knew 
an infinite number of private events. Madame de Narbonne, 
lady of honour to Madame Adelaide, who had considerable 
influence during the first years of the reign of Louis XVI., 
would have been very useful to you. Lastly, I was dining 
with a very great nobleman, who has infinite talent. Your 
book was spoken of and was praised ; but many errors 
were pointed out with reference to the administration of 
the Duke de Choiseul. You are deceived when you state it 
as doubtful that M. de Machault was on the eve of being 
appointed in the room of M. de Maurepas. The letter of the 
King was written, was given to the page, he had his foot in 
the stirrup, when my father-in-law, by order of Louis XVI., 
descended the great staircase of Choisy to recall the page. 
The Queen, who had already studied the King's character, 
then told my father-in-law that if he had not been in such 
haste to execute the King's command M. de Machault would 
have been appointed ; that the King would never have had 
the courage to write a letter contrary to his first intention. I 
have been moved even to tears by the manner in which you 
re-establish the Queen's character in a more favourable light ; 
but never accuse her of prodigality — she had the contrary 
failing. She never in her life drew the smallest sum from the 
Treasury; the Duchess, her favourite, had scarcely what 
would maintain her at Court, her situation requiring an ex- 
pense far exceeding what she derived from her husband's 
places and her own. The Queen ordered some little edifices, 
in the style suited to an English garden, to be erected at 
Trianon ; all Paris exclaimed against it, while M. de Saint- 
James was expending 150,000 livres at Neuilly for a grotto. 
The Queen was so far from allowing large sums to be ex- 
pended on her favourite habitation, that when she quitted 
this villa, in 1789, she still left there the ancient furniture of 
Louis XV. : it was not till after soliciting her, for six years 
together, not to use any longer an old painted bedstead that 


had belonged to the Countess du Barry, that I obtained leave 
from the Queen to order another. Never was any person 
more slandered ; all the blows by which it was intended to 
assail the throne were for a long time directed against her 
solely. I have a multitude of anecdotes of a nature to 
make her better known ; but they are only suited to my 
Memoirs. I will not allow them to be printed during my 
life ; my son will have them after me. In my Recollections 
I do not go beyond the details which I did and must know. 
Presumption ruins all the writers of Memoirs ; if they know 
what passed in the chamber, they will also relate the de- 
liberations of the Council, and these are very different 
matters. M. Thierry de Villedavray was ignorant of what 
the ministers knew, and they would often have been de- 
lighted to discover what he was acquainted with. In history, 
as in poetry, we must recur to what Boileau has said about 

The Memoirs of Laporte are valued, because he says, 
" The Queen sent me to such a place," " I said to the 
Cardinal," &c, and those of Clery are most deeply interest- 
ing because he repeats, word for word, what he heard, and 
finishes his recital with the roll of the drum, which separated 
him from his unfortunate Sovereign. 

Sincerity, sir, accompanies the highest esteem, and it is 
that which emboldens me to enter into these details with 
you, and to express to you the regret I feel to see you 
engaged in your second edition before you have patiently 
consulted the greatest possible number of contemporaries well 
informed of the facts which form your two last volumes. 

Portrait of Maria Theresa. 

A lady bought at the Marquis de Marigny's sale a large 
miniature portrait of the Empress Maria Theresa. It was 
in a gilt metal frame, and at the back the Marchioness's 
brother had caused these words to be engraved: "The 
Empress-Queen made a present of this portrait to my sister ; 
it was surrounded with superb Brazil diamonds." This lady 
thought she was offering the Queen what would be very 
agreeable to her ; she was deceived. Her Majesty considered 
that she ought not to appear insensible to her attention, but 
as soon as the lady had withdrawn the Queen said to me, 
"Take this proof of my mother's policy out of my sight 
quickly. Perhaps I am indebted to her in some degree for 
the honour of being Queen of France, but, in truth, Sove- 
reigns are sometimes constrained to very mean actions." 




Note No. 1, page 21. 

The Queen brought the Duke of Normandy into the world, 
and the birth of a second son appeared to add to the happiness she 
enjoyed. She had also a second Princess, named Sophie. The 
quiet and regular habits of the Royal Family, now past the age 
of turbulent pleasures, make me look back on the years which 
elapsed between the peace of 1783 and the birth of the second 
Princess as the most happy period of the reign of Louis XVI. 
That happiness was soon to be disturbed by an unforeseen storm, 
increased by error, by the vilest corruption, and by the blackest 

The Cardinal de Rohan, who was involved in Madame de 
Lamotte's intrigues in a manner not yet entirely explained, made 
some overtures to M. de Saint-James, the Treasurer of the War 
Extraordinaries, for the loan of a considerable sum. He com- 
municated to him some particulars of the bargain he had made 
with Boehmer to procure his magnificent necklace for the Queen. 
The financier, whose fortune was at that time shaken, and who 
soon after failed for an enormous sum, lent no money. He could 
not understand how the Cardinal, who was avowedly at enmity 
with the Queen, should be deputed to execute such a commission ; 
and felt himself called upon to speak to Her Majesty respecting 
what he had heard. I know not how lightly this information 
may have been communicated ; I only know that it made very 
little impression upon the Queen. Standing, as she did, upon 
the pinnacle of happiness and honour, how should she imagine 
that such an object should be the basis of an intrigue sufficient 
to raise the direst storm ? The Queen merely told me they were 
talking again about that tiresome necklace ; that M. de Saint- 
James had informed her that Boehmer still entertained the hope 
of persuading her to buy it of him. She requested me to 
mention it to him the first time I should see him, merely by way 
of asking him what he had done with that ornament. 

On the following Sunday I met Boehmer in one of the halls 


of the principal apartments as I was going to the Queen's Mass. 
I called to him ; he accompanied me to my threshold. I asked 
him whether he had at last got rid of his necklace or not. He 
answered that it was sold. I asked him in what Court. He re- 
plied, " At Constantinople, and it is at this moment the property 
of the favourite Sultana." I congratulated him on the occasion. 
My real ground of satisfaction, however, was that the Queen 
would no longer be molested on the subject. In the evening I 
gave an account of my meeting with the jeweller, and the conver- 
sation I had had with him. The Queen was really rejoiced at 
it. She did, however, show some surprise that a necklace made 
to ornament a Frenchwoman should have been carried to the 
seragliOj and dwelt on the belief that the beauty of the collection 
of diamonds had been the sole inducement for purchasing it. 
She spoke a long time upon the subject, and upon the total 
change which took place in the tastes and desires of women 
between the ages of twenty years and thirty. She told me that 
when she was ten years younger she was excessively fond of 
diamonds ; but that she had now no taste but for private society, 
for the country, for work, and for the cares which the education 
of her children would demand. From that time to the fatal ex- 
posure nothing more was said about the necklace. 

The baptism of the Duke d'Angouleme took place in 1785. 
The Queen ordered the shoulder-knot, buckles and sword, of 
which the King and herself made him presents upon the occasion, 
of Boehmer. When Boehmer delivered these articles to Her Majesty, 
he presented her a note, which is faithfully copied into one of the 
memorials printed in the course of the Cardinal's trial. The Queen 
came into her library, where I was reading. She held the note in 
her hand. She read it to me, saying that, as I had in the morning 
guessed the enigmas of the Mercure, I could no doubt find her the 
meaning of that which that madman Boehmer had just handed 
to her. These were her very expressions. She read me the note, 
which, like that in the memorial, contained a request "not to 
forget him," and expressions of his happiness at seeing her in 
the possession of the most beautiful diamonds that could be 
found in Europe. As she finished reading it she twisted it up 
and burnt it at a taper which was standing lighted in her library 
for sealing letters, and merely recommended me, when I should see 
Boehmer, to request an explanation of it. " Has he assorted some 
other ornaments ? " added the Queen. " I should be quite vexed at 
it, for I do not intend to make use of his services any longer. If I 
wish to change the setting of my diamonds I will employ my valet 
de chambre who takes care of my jewels, for he will have no ambition 
to sell me a single carat." 

After this conversation I set off for my country-house at 
Crespy. My father-in-law had company to dine there every Sun- 
day. Boehmer had been there once or twice in the summer time. 
As soon as I was settled he came there. 

I repeated to him faithfully what the Queen had desired me 
to tell him. He seemed petrified, and asked how it was that the 
Queen had been unable to understand the meaning of the paper 
VOL. II 22 


he had presented to her. "I read it myself," said I, " and I under- 
stood nothing of it." "I am not surprised at that as far as concerns 
you, madam," replied Bcehmer. He added that there was a mystery 
in all this with which I was not made acquainted, and requested of 
me an interview, wherein he would inform me fully of what had 
passed between the Queen and himself. I could only promise it 
him for the evening, when the people from Paris would be gone. 
When I had got rid of the persons who required my company in 
the drawing-room, I went with Boehmer down into one of the 
garden walks. I think I can repeat verbatim the conversation 
which took place between this man and myself. I was so struck 
with horror the very instant I discovered this most base and 
dangerous intrigue that every word which passed between us is 
deeply engraven in my memory. I was so absorbed in grief, I 
perceived so many dangers in the manner in which the Queen 
would have to disengage herself from such a fabrication, that a 
storm of thunder and rain came on while I was talking to Boehmer 
without exciting my attention. 

Being alone, then, with Boehmer, I began thus : 

"What is the meaning of the paper which you gave to Her 
Majesty on Sunday as she left the chapel?" 

B. " The Queen cannot be ignorant of it, madam." 

"I beg your pardon; nay, more, she has desired me to ask 

B. " That is a feint of hers." 

" And, pray, what feint can there be in so plain a matter between 
you and the Queen ? The Queen very seldom appears in full dress, 
and you know it. You told me yourself that the extreme plainness 
of the Court of Versailles was injurious to your trade. She is afraid 
you are projecting something new, and she expressly ordered me to 
tell you that she would not add a diamond of the value of twenty 
louis to those which she possesses." 

B. "I believe it, madam; she has less need of them than 
ever; but what said she about the money? " 

" You were paid long ago." 

B. " Ah! madam, you are greatly mistaken! There is a very 
large sum due to me." 

" What do you mean ? " 

B. " I must disclose all to you. The Queen deals myste- 
riously with you ; she has purchased my grand necklace." 

" The Queen ! she refused you personally ; she refused it of the 
King, who would have given it to her." 

B. " Well, she changed her mind." 

" If she had changed her mind, she would have told the King 
so. I have not seen the necklace among the Queen's diamonds." 

B. " She was to have worn it on Whit-Sunday. I was very 
much astonished that she did not." 

" When did the Queen tell you she had determined to buy your 
necklace ? " 

B. " She never spoke to me upon the subject herself." 

" Through whom, then ? " 

B. " The Cardinal de Rohan." 


" She has not spoken to him these ten years ! By what con- 
trivance I know not, my dear Boehmer, but you are robbed, that's 

B. "The Queen pretends to be at variance with His Eminence, 
but he is upon very good terms with her." 

" What do you mean ? The Queen pretends to be at variance 
with a person so conspicuous at Court ! Sovereigns rather pretend 
the other way. She pretended for four successive years that she 
would neither buy nor accept of your necklace ! She buys it, and 
pretends not to remember that, since she does not wear it ! You are 
mad, my poor Boehmer, and I see you entangled in an intrigue which 
makes me shudder for you, and distresses me for Her Majesty's sake. 
When I asked you, six months ago, what was become of the neck- 
lace and where you had sent it, you told me you had sold it to the 
favourite Sultana." 

B. "I answered as the Queen wished. She ordered me to make 
that reply through the Cardinal." 

" But how were Her Majesty's orders transmitted to you ? " 

B. " By written documents signed with her own hand ; and I 
have for some time been obliged to show them to people who have 
lent me money, in order to keep them quiet." 

" You have received no money, then ? " 

B. "I beg your pardon ; on delivery of the necklace I received 
a sum of 30,000 francs in notes of the Caissed'Escompte, which Her 
Majesty sent to me by the Cardinal; and you may rely on it, he 
sees Her Majesty in private, for as he gave me the money he told 
me that she took it from a portfolio which was in her Sevres china 
secretaire in her little boudoir." 

" That was all a falsehood; and you, who have sworn faithfully 
to serve the King and Queen in the offices you hold about their 
persons, are much to blame for having treated for the Queen without 
the King's knowledge when so important a matter was in question, 
and with her without having received her orders directly from 

The latter remark struck this dangerous fool. He asked me 
what he was to do. I advised him to go to the Baron de Breteuil, 
who was the minister of his department, inasmuch as he held the 
office of keeper of the crown diamonds, to tell him candidly all that 
had passed, and to be ruled by him. He assured me he would prefer 
deputing me to explain to the Queen. That, however, I declined, 
perceiving from his account that there existed a multiplicity of 
intrigues, which prudence warned me to avoid. I spent ten days at 
my country house without hearing a word of this affair. The Queen 
then sent for me to Little Trianon, to rehearse with me the part of 
Rosina, which she was to perform in the Barber of Seville. I was 
alone with her, sitting upon her couch ; no mention was made of 
anything but the part. After we had spent an hour in the rehearsal, 
Her Majesty asked me why I had sent Bcehmer to her, saying he had 
been in my name to speak to her, and that she would not see him. 
It was thus that I learned he had not, in the slightest degree, fol- 
lowed my advice. The change in my countenance when I heard 
the man's name was very perceptible; the Queen perceived it and 

22 — 2 


questioned me. I entreated her to see him, and assured her it was of 
the utmost importance for her peace of mind ; that there was a plot 
going on of which she was not aware ; and that it was a serious one, 
since engagements signed by herself were shown about to people who 
had lent Boehmer money. Her astonishment and vexation were 
excessive. She desired me to remain at Trianon, and sent off a 
courier to Paris, ordering Boehmer to come to her upon some 
pretence which has escaped my recollection. He came the next 
morning ; in fact, it was the day on which the play was performed, 
and that was the last time that the Queen indulged in such amuse- 
ments at that seat. 

The Queen took him into her closet and asked him by what 
fatality it was that she was still doomed to hear of his foolish pre- 
tensions about selling her an article which she had steadily refused 
for several years ? He replied that he was compelled, being unable 
to pacify his creditors any longer. " What are your creditors to 
me ? " said Her Majesty. Boehmer then regularly related to her all 
that, according to his deluded imagination, had passed between the 
Queen and himself, through the intervention of the Cardinal. She 
was equally thunderstruck, incensed and surprised at everything she 
heard. In vain did she speak. The jeweller, equally importunate 
and dangerous, repeated incessantly, " Madam, this is no time for 
feigning ; condescend to confess that you have my necklace, and 
order me some assistance, or else a bankruptcy will soon bring 
the whole to light." 

It is easy to imagine how much the Queen must have suffered. 
On Bcehmer's going away I found her in an alarming condition. 
The idea that anyone could have believed that such a man as the 
Cardinal possessed her full confidence, and that she should have 
bargained through him with a tradesman, without the King's know- 
ledge, for a thing which she had refused from the King himself, 
drove her to desperation. She sent first for the Abbe de Vermond 
and then for the Baron de Breteuil. Their hatred and contempt 
for the Cardinal made them too easily forget that the lowest vices 
do not prevent the higher orders of the empire from being defended 
by those to whom they have the honour to belong ; that a Rohan, a 
Prince of the Church, however culpable he might be, would be sure 
to have a considerable party, which would, of course, be joined by 
all the discontented persons of the Court and all the censorious 
people of Paris. 

It was too easily believed that he would be stripped of all the 
advantages of his rank and order, and given up to the disgrace due 
to his irregular conduct ; disappointment was the consequence. 

I saw the Queen after the departure of the Baron and the Abbe ; 
her agitation made me shudder. "Hideous vices must be un- 
masked," said she, "when the Roman purple and the title of Prince 
cover a mere sharper, a cheat, who dares to compromise the wife 
of his Sovereign ; Europe and all France should know it." It is 
evident that from that moment the fatal plan was decided on. The 
Queen perceived my alarm ; I did not conceal it from her. I was 
too well aware that she had many enemies not to be apprehensive 
on seeing her attract the attention of the whole world to an intrigue 


which would prove of the most intricate description. I entreated 
her to seek the most prudent and moderate advice. She silenced 
me by desiring me to make myself easy, and to rest satisfied that 
no imprudence would be committed. 

On the following Sunday, being the Assumption, at twelve 
o'clock, at the very moment when the Cardinal, dressed in his 
pontifical garments, was about to proceed to the chapel, the King 
sent for him into his closet where he was with the Queen. " You 
have purchased some diamonds of Boehmer," said the King to him. 
"Yes, Sire." "What have you done with them?" "I thought 
they had been delivered to the Queen." "Who commissioned you 
to make the purchase?" " A lady called the Countess de Lamotte- 
Valois, who handed me a letter from the Queen, and I thought I 
was acting agreeably to Her Majesty's wishes when I took this 
negotiation upon myself." The Queen interrupted him with 
warmth, in order to ask him how he could possibly believe that 
he, to whom she had not spoken for above eight years, had been 
selected for such a commission, and that through a woman whom 
she did not even know. " I see very plainly," said the Cardinal, 
" that I have been deceived." He then took out of his pocket a 
note from Her Majesty, signed Marie Antoinette de France. The 
King uttered an exclamation, and told him that a Grand Almoner 
ought to know that Queens of France signed only their baptismal 
names ; that even the daughters of France had no other signa- 
ture ; and that if the Royal Family added anything to that signature 
it would not be de France. The writing was no more like the original 
signature than the body of the paper ; the King remarked this to 
him. His Majesty afterwards showed him a copy of a letter 
addressed to Boehmer, asking him if he had written any such 
letter. The Cardinal, after looking at it, replied that he did not 
remember having written it. "If you were to be shown such a 
letter, signed by yourself? " said the King to him. " If the letter 
be signed by me," said the Cardinal, "it is genuine." He was 
extremely confused, and repeated several times, " I have been 
deceived, Sire ; I will pay for the necklace. I ask pardon of Your 
Majesties." The King desired him to compose himself, and to 
go into the adjoining closet, where he would find writing imple- 
ments and might pen down his avowal or his answers. M. de 
Vergennes and the Keeper of the Seals were of opinion that the 
affair ought to be hushed up, in order that the scandal attending 
it might be avoided. The Baron de Breteuil's opinion prevailed ; 
the Queen's resentment favoured it. The Cardinal came in again 
and handed the King a few lines, which were almost as unintel- 
ligible as what he had said. He was ordered out, and was ac- 
companied by the Baron, who had him arrested by M. d'Agoult, 
the mayor of the Court. He confided the care of conducting the 
Cardinal to his apartments to a young ensign of the guards who 
had been arrested a few days before for debt. The order to 
accompany the Cardinal, with the information that he would be 
responsible for his person, and the word arrest, so perplexed the 
young man that he lost all power of reflecting upon the import- 
ance of his charge. The Cardinal met his heyduke in the gallery 


of the chapel, and spoke to him in German. Wishing to write 
down his orders, and having no pencil about him, he asked the 
ensign if he could lend him one. He had one, handed it to the 
Cardinal, and waited patiently while his Eminence wrote upon a 
piece of paper his orders to the Abbe Georgel, his grand vicar, 
to burn the whole of his correspondence with Madame de Lamotte 
which was in his closet at Paris. From that moment all proofs 
of this intrigue disappeared. Madame de Lamotte was apprehended 
at Bar-sur-Aube ; her husband was already gone to England. From 
the beginning of this fatal affair all the proceedings of the Court 
appear to have been prompted by imprudence and want of fore- 
sight ; the obscurity resulting left scope for the fables of which 
the voluminous memorials written on one side and the other con- 
sisted. The Queen so little imagined what could have given rise 
to the intrigue, of which she was about to become the victim, that 
at the moment when the King was interrogating the Cardinal, a 
terrific idea entered her mind. With that rapidity of thought 
caused by personal interest and extreme agitation, she fancied that 
if the design to ruin her in the eyes of the King and the French 
people was the concealed motive of this intrigue, the Cardinal 
would, perhaps, affirm that she had the necklace ; that he had 
been honoured with her confidence for this purchase, made with- 
out the King's knowledge ; and point out some secret place in her 
apartment, where he might have got some villain to hide it. Want 
of money and the meanest swindling were the sole foundations of 
this criminal affair. The necklace was by this time taken to pieces 
and sold, partly in London, partly in Holland, and the rest in 

From the moment the Cardinal's arrest was known a universal 
clamour arose. Every memorial that appeared during the trial 
increased the outcry, and nothing tended to develop the hidden 
facts. On this occasion the clergy took that course, which a little 
wisdom, and the least knowledge of the spirit of such a body, ought 
to have foreseen. The Rohans and the House of Conde, as well 
as the clergy, complained in all quarters. The King agreed to the 
legal judgment, and early in September he addressed letters patent 
to the Parliament, in which His Majesty said that, " penetrated with 
the most just indignation on seeing the means which, by the con- 
fession of His Eminence the Cardinal, had been employed in order 
to inculpate his most dear and most honourable spouse and com- 
panion, he had," &c. 

Fatal moment ! in which the Queen found herself, in conse- 
quence of this highly impolitic error, opposed to a subject who 
ought to have been dealt with by the power of the King alone. 
Erroneous principles of equity, ignorance and hatred united with 
the confusion of ill-digested advice to form a course of conduct 
which was injurious alike to the Royal authority and to public 

The Princes and Princesses of the House of Conde, and of the 
Houses of Rohan, Soubise and Guemenee, put on mourning, and 
were seen ranging themselves in the way of the members of the 
Great Chamber, to salute them as they proceeded to the Palace, on 


the days of sitting upon the Cardinal's trial ; and Princes of the 
Blood openly canvassed against the Queen of France. 

The Pope wished to claim, on behalf of the Cardinal de Rohan, 
the right belonging to his ecclesiastical rank, and demanded that he 
should be judged at Rome. The Cardinal de Bernis, ambassador 
from France to His Holiness, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
blending the wisdom of an old diplomatist with the principles of a 
Prince of the Church, wished that this scandalous affair should be 
hushed up. 

The King's aunts, who were on very intimate terms with the 
Ambassador, adopted his opinion ; and the conduct of the King and 
Queen was equally and loudly censured in the apartments of Ver- 
sailles and in the hotels and coffee-houses of Paris. 

It is easy to refer to this transaction, alike fatal and unexpected, 
hastily entered into and weakly and dangerously followed up, the 
disorders which furnished so many weapons to the party opposed to 

In the early part of the year 1786 the Cardinal was fully 
acquitted, and came out of the Bastille ; Madame de Lamotte was 
condemned to be whipped, branded and confined. The Court, 
following up the false views which had guided its measures, con- 
ceived that the Cardinal and the woman De Lamotte were equally 
culpable and unequally judged, and sought to restore the balance 
of justice by exiling the Cardinal to the abbey of La Chaise-Dieu, 
and suffering Madame de Lamotte to escape a few days after her 
entrance into the hospital. 

This new error confirmed the Parisians in the idea that the low 
wretch, who had never been able to make her way into the room 
appropriated to the Queen's women, had really interested that 
unfortunate Princess. Cagliostro, one of those dabblers in pre- 
tended sciences or secret discoveries who appear every twenty-five 
or thirty years to give the most consequential idlers ot Paris some- 
thing to do, a capuchin, and a girl of the Palais Royal were 
implicated in this trial ; no person of any note appeared upon the 
stage. The man named Declos, a servant of the Queen's chamber 
and a singer at the chapel, was the only man attached to the service 
of the Court that Madame de Lamotte dare to cite. He appeared 
upon the Cardinal's trial. It was to him that she said she had 
given the necklace. She named him because she had spent an 
evening with him at the house of the wife of a petty surgeon- 
accoucheur of Versailles. Thus the pretended friend of the Queen, 
when she went to pay her court to her, lived at the Belle-Image, 
and moved in the circle of the humblest townspeople of that place. 

As soon as I heard of the sentence passed on the Cardinal I went 
to the Queen. She heard my voice in the room preceding her 
closet. She called to me ; I found her very much agitated. In a 
faltering voice, she said to me, " Condole with me ; the sharper 
who wished to ruin me, or get money by misusing my name and 
adopting my signature, has just being fully acquitted ; but," added 
she, with warmth, "as a Frenchwoman, let me pity you. Un- 
fortunate indeed are a people who have for their supreme tribunal 
a set of men who consult only their passions ; and some of whom are 


capable of being corrupted, and others of an audacity which they 
have always manifested against authority, and which they have just 
suffered to break out against those who are invested with it." 1 At 
this moment the King entered, and I wished to withdraw. " Stay," 
said he to me; "you are one of those who sincerely participate in 
the grief of your mistress." He went up to the Queen and took 
her by the hand. " This affair," said he, " has been decided 
contrary to all principle ; however, that is very easily accounted for. 
To be able to cut this Gordian knot it is not necessary to be an 
Alexander. In the Cardinal the Parliament saw only a Prince of 
the Church, a Prince de Rohan, the near relation of a Prince of the 
Blood, while they ought to have looked upon him as a man un- 
worthy of his ecclesiastical character, a spendthrift, a great noble- 
man degraded by his shameful connections, a young fashionable 
trying expedients, like many in Paris, and grasping at everything. 
He thought he would pay Boehmer on account sums large enough to 
discharge the price of the necklace within a moderate time ; but he 
knew the customs of the Court well enough, and was not so silly as 
to believe that Madame de Lamotte was admitted by the Queen and 
deputed to execute such a commission." 

In giving the King's opinion, I do not pretend to speak 
decisively on the Cardinal's credulity or dishonesty ; but it got 
abroad, and I am bound to report the exact particulars of a con- 
versation in which he declared it with so little reserve. He still 
continued to speak of that dreadful trial, and condescended to say 
to me, " I have saved you a mortification, which you would have 
experienced without any advantage to the Queen ; all the Cardinal's 
papers were burnt, with the exception of a little note written by 
him, which was found by itself at the bottom of a drawer ; it is 
dated in the latter end of July, and says that Boehmer has seen 
Madame Campan, who told him to beware of the intrigue of which 
he would become the victim ; that she would lay her head upon the 
block to maintain that the Queen had never "wished to have the 
necklace, and that she had certainly not purchased it secretly. 
Had you any such conversation with the man ? " the King con- 
tinued. I answered that I remembered having said nearly those 
very words to him, and that I had informed the Queen of it. 
" Well," continued he, " I was asked whether it would be agree- 

i " M. d'Espremenil, a councillor of the Parliament," says the Abbd Georgel 
in his Memoirs, " but who was not a judge in the affair, found secret means to in- 
form us of very interesting particulars, the knowledge of which was of the greatest 
utility to us. I owe here this homage to his zeal and condescension." 

He adds, in another place, speaking of the moment in which the decree was 
pronounced : " The sittings were long and multiplied ; it was necessary to read 
the whole proceeding ; more than fifty judges sat ; a master of requests, a friend 
of the Prince, wrote down all that was said there, and sent it to his advisers, who 
found means to inform the Cardinal of it, and to add the plan of conduct he ought 
to pursue." 

D'Espremenil, and other young councillors, in fact, showed upon that 
occasion but too much audacity in braving the Court, too much eagerness in 
seizing an opportunity of attacking it. They were the first to shake that 
authority which their functions made it a duty in them to render respectable. 
We ought to note errors, which their misfortunes have since but too entirely 
expiated. — Note by the Editor. 


able to me that you should be summoned to appear, and I replied 
that it was not absolutely indispensable. I should rather that a 
person so intimately connected with the Queen as yourself should 
not be summoned. How could it, for instance, be explained," 
added the King, "that this man wrote the note in question three 
weeks before the day on which I spoke to him, without taking any 
step either with the Queen or myself? " 

M. Pierre de Laurence, the Attorney-General's substitute, sent 
the Queen a list of the names of the members of the Great Chamber, 
with the means made use of by the Cardinal to gain their votes 
during the trial. I had this list to keep among the papers which 
the Queen deposited in the house of M. Campan, my father-in-law, 
and which at his death she ordered me to preserve. I burnt this 
statement, and I remember upon this occasion ladies performed a 
part not very creditable to their morals ; it was by them, and in 
consideration of large sums which they received, that some of the 
oldest and most respectable heads were seduced. I did not see 
a single name among the whole Parliament that was gained over 

At this period the Queen's happy days terminated. Farewell 
for ever to the quiet and unostentatious excursions to Trianon, to the 
entertainments where the magnificence, the wit and the good taste 
of the Court of France shone forth at the same time ; farewell, 
especially farewell, to that deference and to that respect, the out- 
ward shows of which wait upon the throne, while the reality alone 
is its solid basis. 

Note No. 2, Page 64. 

Short Account of the Departure of Louis XVI. for Paris, on the 6th 
of October, 1789, 1 by M. de Saint-Priest. 

I think I ought to commence the narrative of what took 
place at Versailles, on the 5th and 6th of October, 1789, by 
relating the contents of a letter written to me by M. de la 
Fayette, a few days before. I was unable to preserve it, as my 
papers were burnt in France during my emigration ; but I have 
copied it from Bailly's Journal, printed after his death. 

" The Duke de la Rochefoucauld will have informed you of 
the idea, put into the grenadiers' heads, of going to Versailles 
this night. I wrote to you not to be uneasy about it, because I 
rely upon their confidence in me in order to divert them from 
this project. I owe them the justice to say that they had in- 
tended to ask my permission to do so, and that many of them 
thought it was a very proper step, and one ordered by me. 
Their very slight inclination has been destroyed by four words 
which I said to them. The affair is off my mind, except as to 
the idea of the inexhaustible resources of the plotters of mischief. 

1 Interested as we are for the cause of truth, which is confirmed by 
contradictory testimonies, we cannot too strongly recommend the reader to 
compare this interesting account with the details contained in the Memoirs 
of Ferrieres, Dusaulx and Bailly, and the explanation annexed to those of 
Weber. — Note by the Editor. 


You should not consider this circumstance as anything more 
than an indication of a design, and by no means as dangerous." 

M. de la Fayette did not rely so much as he told me he 
did upon the obedience of these grenadiers who had formerly 
belonged to the French guards, since he posted detachments of 
the unpaid National Guards at Sevres and at St. Cloud, to 
guard those passages of the River Seine. He informed me of it, 
and ordered the commandant of those posts to apprise me, if 
there should be any occasion. 

These arrangements appeared to me insufficient for the 
safety of the Royal residence. I took M. de la Fayette's letter 
to the Council of State, and made it the ground of a proposal 
to reinforce Versailles with some regular troops. I observed 
that M. de la Fayette's letter afforded a plausible reason for it, 
and offered the means of literally complying with the decree 
sanctioned by the King, which gave the municipal authorities 
the first right to direct the action of regular troops. The King, 
by the advice of his Council, approved of my proposal, and 
charged me to execute it. I consequently addressed M. de la 
Fayette's letter to the municipality of Versailles, after having 
apprised the mayor of it. This document was entered in the 
register, and a resolution was made for demanding a reinforce- 
ment of troops for the executive power. Invested with this 
authority, I observed to the Minister of War that the Flanders 
regiment of foot being on the march, escorting a convoy of arms 
destined for the Parisian National Guard, from Douai to Paris, 
it would be well to draw that body to Versailles as soon as its 
mission should be fulfilled, in order to prevent, at least in part, 
the ferment which the arrival of a corps of soldiers of the line 
in the Royal residence would not fail to occasion at Paris and 
in the National Assembly. This measure was adopted by the 
Council. Bailly, in his Journal, says that he wrote to me re- 
specting the uneasiness it gave the districts of Paris. He adds 
that I replied that " the arrival of armed men in the Royal 
residence, announced by circumstantial reports, had determined 
the King to call in the Flanders regiment, and to take military 
measures upon the subject." 

I am the less able to recollect what I could have meant by 
that, inasmuch as I am certain I never took any step of a 
military nature, beyond that of desiring the Flanders regiment 
to march in a military manner, without turning aside from their 

It is true that the civic authorities of Paris, in pursuance of 
my answer to Bailly, had the insolence to send four deputies to 
Versailles, to learn from the King's ministers their reasons for 
calling in the Flanders regiment. These deputies alighted at my 
house, and one of them, M. Dusaulx, a member of the Academie 
des Belles Lettres, was the spokesman. He interrogated me 
upon the matter in question in the most imperious manner, in- 
forming me that carrying it into execution would be followed by 
fatal consequences. I answered with all the moderation I could 
command, that this demand of a regiment of the line was a 


natural consequence of the information communicated by a letter 
from M. de la Fayette. I added that I gave him this answer as 
from myself, the King not having authorised me to answer a 
question which His Majesty could never have imagined anyone 
would dare to put to his minister. M. Dusaulx and his three 
brother deputies returned much dissatisfied. M. de Condorcet 
was one of them. Some factious members of the National 
Assembly likewise meddled in the matter. M. Alexandre Lameth 
and M. Barnave spoke to me and endeavoured to persuade me 
to induce the King to revoke his call for this regiment of the 
line. I answered them in such a manner as to leave them no 
hope of it. The regiment arrived at Versailles without meeting 
the smallest obstacle. The conspirators gave the old French 
guards to understand that it was destined to guard the King 
in their stead, which was untrue ; but that served to make 
them resume their project of coming to Versailles. I am igno- 
rant whether they had any other view than to take their post 
again, or whether they had already determined to bring the 
King back to Paris. However that may have been, the event 
soon took place. 

The body-guards gave a regimental entertainment to the 
officers of the Flanders regiment, and invited a few subaltern 
officers and soldiers, as well as some of the National Guards of 
Versailles. It was an old custom for the military corps quar- 
tered at any place to pay this compliment to others which 
arrived there. Upon such occasions many healths will, of course, 
be drunk, and the repasts must, of necessity be always noisy ; 
and this was the case with the present. The regimental band 
had been invited, and the air beginning, "O Richard! O my 
King ! " from the play of Richard Coenr de Lion, excited the 
liveliest enthusiasm. It was thought right to go and fetch the 
Queen, to increase the fervour. And, in fact, Her Majesty came 
with the Dauphin, which prompted fresh acclamation. When 
the company left the dining-hall, a few soldiers, perhaps 
affected by wine, appeared in the marble court below the 
apartments of the King, who had returned from hunting. 
Shouts of "Vive le Roi ! " were heard; and one of the soldiers, 
with the assistance of his comrades, climbed up on the out- 
side as high as the balcony of the chamber of His Majesty, 
who did not show himself. I was in my closet, and I sent to 
know what occasioned the noise, and was informed. I have, 
however, no reason to believe that the national cockade was 
trampled under foot ; and it is less likely, because the King 
wore it at that time and it would have been a want of respect 
to His Majesty himself. It was a lie invented to irritate the 
minds of the Parisian National Guard. 

The Count d'Estaing commanded the National Guard of 
Versailles at that time. The King gave him, also, the com- 
mand of all the regular troops there. They consisted of the 
two battalions of the Flanders regiment, two hundred chasseurs 
des Eveches, eight hundred mounted body-guards, and the Swiss 
guard on duty. On the 5th of October, at about eleven in 


the morning, one of my valets de chambre came from Paris to 
apprise me that the Parisian National Guard, both paid and un- 
paid, accompanied by a numerous populace of men and women, 
had set out for Versailles. The King was hunting on the heights 
of Meudon, and I wrote to tell him of it. His Majesty re- 
turned promptly, and ordered that the Council of State should 
be summoned for half-past three. The Council then consisted 
of eight ministers : the Marshal de Beauvau, the Archbishop 
of Vienna, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Keeper of the Seals, 
M. Necker, Minister of the Finances, and the Counts de Mont- 
morin, de la Luzerne, de Latour du Pin and de Saint-Priest, 
Secretaries of State. 

I laid before the Council the information I had received, 
and which had been subsequently confirmed by several other 
reports. I represented the danger that would attend the waiting 
for this multitude at Versailles, and I proposed measures to 
be pursued on this emergency. They were, that detachments 
should be sent to guard the bridges across the Seine, a bat- 
talion of the Flanders regiment for that at Sevres, another for 
that at St. Cloud, and the Swiss guard for that at Neuilly, 
and that the King should send the Queen and the Royal 
Family to Rambouillet, where the chasseurs of the regiment 
of Lorraine were, while His Majesty himself should go and 
meet the Parisians with the two hundred chasseurs des Eveches 
and his eight hundred body-guards. The thousand horse being 
drawn up in order of battle beyond the bridge of Sevres, the 
King was to order the Parisian band to retire, and in case they 
should disobey, was to make a few charges of cavalry to en- 
deavour to disperse them. Then, if this should be unsuccessful, 
the King would have time to regain Versailles at the head of 
his troops and march immediately to Rambouillet. My advice 
was approved of by Marshal de Beauvau, M. de la Luzerne, 
and M. de Latour du Pin ; and warmly opposed by M. Necker, 
seconded by Count de Montmorin and the Archbishops of 
Vienna and Bordeaux. M. Necker insisted that there was no 
danger in suffering the multitude to come to Versailles, where 
its object was, | probably, only to present some petition to the 
King ; and should the worst happen, if His Majesty should find 
it necessary to reside at Paris, he would be venerated and 
respected there by his people, who adored him. 

I replied by opposing to this reasoning the origin and the 
features of this proceeding, which completely contradicted all 
these pretented dispositions of the people of Paris. 

The King did not declare himself as to the course he should 
pursue ; he broke up the Council and that we knew he went to 
consult the Queen. She declared that she would not upon any 
consideration whatever separate herself from him and her chil- 
dren, which rendered the execution of the measure I had pro- 
posed impossible. Thus perplexed, we did nothing but wait. 
However, I sent an order to the Swiss barracks at Courbevoie 
that all belonging to the regiment of guards who were then there, 
should immediately repair to Versailles, which was promptly done. 


The National Assembly was sitting when information of the 
march of the Parisians was given to it by one of the deputies 
who came from Paris. A certain number of the members were 
no strangers to this movement. It appears that Mirabeau 
wished to avail himself of it to raise the Duke of Orleans to 
the throne. It was then that Mounier, who presided over the 
National Assembly, rejected the idea with horror. "My good 
man," said Mirabeau to him, " what difference will it make to you 
to have Louis XVII. for your King instead of Louis XVI. ? " The 
Duke of Orleans was baptised Louis. 

Mounier, seeing the urgency of the case, proposed that the 
Assembly should declare itself permanent and inseparable from 
His Majesty ; which was decreed. Mirabeau then insisted that 
the deputation which should carry up this decree to the King 
should demand his sanction to some others which had remained 
in arrear ; among others, that of the rights of man, in which some 
alterations were desired. But existing circumstances carried the 
King's sanction. A few female citizens then presented them- 
selves to offer civic gifts. It seems they were sent to keep the 
Assembly employed until the arrival of the Parisians. They were 
admitted, and the scene was ridiculous enough. 

The Count d'Estaing had ordered the mounted body-guards to 
horse, and stationed them in the Place d'Armes, in advance of the 
post of the French guard, which was occupied by a detachment of 
the National Guard of Versailles, commanded by a man named 
Lecointre, a draper, and a man of very bad disposition. He was 
displeased that the body-guards left his soldiers in the second line, 
and tried to raise some quarrel in order to dislodge them. For 
that purpose he sent persons, who slipped between the ranks of the 
soldiers, to annoy the horses. M. de Savannieres, an officer of 
the body-guards, while giving chase to these wretches, received a 
musket-shot from the National Guard, of which he died. A short 
time afterwards, M. d'Estaing, who had received a secret order 
from the King not to make any attack, sent the body-guard back 
to their hotel. They were saluted, as they went off, by a few 
musket-shots from the National Guard of Versailles, by which some 
men and horses were wounded. When they reached their hotel 
they found it pillaged by the populace of Versailles, which brought 
them back to their former position. 

The Flanders regiment was under arms at the end of the 
avenue of Versailles. Mirabeau and some other deputies mingled 
among the ranks of the soldiery. It is asserted that they dis- 
tributed money to them. The soldiers dispersed themselves in the 
public-houses in the town, and reassembled in the evening, when 
they were shut up in the King's stables. 

As to the body-guards, M. d'Estaing knew not what to do 
beyond bringing them into the courtyard of the ministers and 
shutting the gratings. Thence they proceeded to the castle terrace, 
then to Trianon, and, lastly, to Rambouillet. 

I could not refrain from expressing to M. d'Estaing, when he 
came to the King, my astonishment at not seeing him make any 
military disposition. "Sir," replied he, "I await the orders of 


the King" (who did not open his mouth). "When the King gives 
no orders," pursued I, "a general should decide for himself in a 
soldierlike manner." This observation remained unanswered. 
About seven o'clock in the evening a kind of advanced guard 
from Paris, consisting of ill-armed men and women of the rabble, 
arrived at the gates of the ministers' courtyard, which those within 
refused to open. The mob then demanded that a few women 
should be permitted to go and present a supplication to the King. 
His Majesty ordered that six should be let in, and desired me to 
go into the "bull's-eye" and there hear what they had to say. I 
accordingly went. One of these women, whom I afterwards found 
to be a common strumpet, spoke to acquaint me that a scarcity of 
bread existed in Paris, and that the people came to ask bread of 
His Majesty. I answered that the King had taken all the steps 
which could depend on him for preventing the injurious effects of 
the failure in the last harvest ; and I added that calamities of this 
nature ought to be borne with patience, as drought was borne' 
when there was a dearth of rain. I dismissed the women, telling 
them to return to Paris, and to assure their fellow-citizens of the 
King's affection for the people of his capital. It was then that a 
private individual, whom I did not know at that time, but whom I 
have since found to have been the Marquis de Favras, proposed to 
me to mount a number of gentlemen then present upon horses 
from the King's stables, and that they should meet the Parisians 
and force them to retreat. I answered him that the King's horses, 
not being trained to the kind of service which he proposed, would 
be but ill-adapted to it, and would only endanger their riders, with- 
out answering any purpose. I returned to the King to give him 
an account of my conversation with the women. Shortly after- 
wards the King assembled the Council. It was dark; we were 
scarcely seated when an aide-de-camp of M. de la Fayette, named 
Villars, brought me a letter written to me by that General from 
near Auteuil, half a league from Paris. He informed me that he 
was on his march with the National Guard of Paris, both paid and 
unpaid, and a part of the people of Paris, who came to make 
remonstrances to the King. He begged me to assure His Majesty 
that no disorder would take place, and that he vouched for it. 
Notwithstanding this tone of confidence, it is certain that La 
Fayette had been dragged to Versailles against his will at the 
moment when he endeavoured to stop the old French guards, who 
were already on their march, upon the Pont Royal. It is not the 
less true that he had become familiar with the idea of marching to 
Versailles since the first time he had written to me about it. He 
had even spoken to me on the subject, as believing it at that time 
preferable that the King should reside at Paris instead of Ver- 
sailles ; but undoubtedly he would have preferred the adoption of 
some other method of taking His Majesty thither. 

After I had read M. de la Fayette's letter to the Council, I 
recapitulated my advice of the afternoon, observing, however, that 
it was now impossible to resort to the measures I had then pro- 
posed, but that it was of importance that the King, with his family 
and regular troops, should set off for Rambouillet. The contest 


between M. Necker and myself now grew warmer than upon the 
former occasion. I explained the risks which the King and his 
family would incur if they did not avoid them by departing. I 
dwelt upon the advantages that would be gained by quitting Ver- 
sailles for Rambouillet, and I concluded by saying to the King, 
"Sire, if you are taken to Paris to-morrow, your crown is lost!" The 
King was shaken, and he arose to go and speak to the Queen, who 
this time consented to the departure. M. Necker says, in one of 
his works: "He alone (the King) was to determine, and he determined to 
remain at Versailles. Out of a considerable number of persons, one alone, 
as far as I remember, was for the departure, and without any modification." 

It is probably to myself that M. Necker attributes this isolated 
opinion, but his memory has failed him, for it is a fact that M. de 
Beauvau, M. de la Luzerne and M. de Latour du Pin were con- 
stantly of my opinion. 

M. Necker passes over in silence the order which the King 
gave me on re-entering the council chamber, to have his carriages 
got ready, which broke up the Council. I told His Majesty that I 
would execute his orders, send off my wife and children to Ram- 
bouillet, and proceed thither myself, to be ready to receive him 
upon his arrival. I deputed the Chevalier de Cubieres, equerry, 
to carry to the stables the order for getting the carriages ready, 
and I went home to make my own arrangements. After regulating 
everything with Madame de Saint-Priest for her departure, I got 
on horseback, wrapped up in my cloak, that I might not be ob- 
served, and succeeded in keeping myself concealed. I had scarcely 
proceeded half a league when my wife's carriage overtook me. She 
informed me that M. de Montmorin had sent her word that the 
King was no longer willing to set out ; " but," added she, "I would 
not countermand the arrangements you had made." I begged she 
would proceed on her journey, most happy in the reflection that 
she and my children would be far from the scene which I then 
anticipated would take place on the morrow. As for myself, I 
retraced my steps and re-entered by one of the park gates, where 
I dismissed my horses and went through the gardens to the King's 
apartments. There I found M. de la Fayette, who had just arrived. 
He personally confirmed to His Majesty all the assurances which 
he had by letter desired me to give him, and went to bed, extremely 
fatigued by the events of the day, without making any fresh 
arrangement for the safety of the castle. The King, as he with- 
drew, gave orders to the captain of his guards to prohibit his 
subalterns from making any attack. 

I never knew perfectly what made the King change his mind 
respecting his departure. I returned home in great anxiety, and 
threw myself, dressed as I was, upon my bed. It was impossible 
for me to close my eyes on account of the noise made by the mob 
from Paris, with which the streets of Versailles were filled. At 
daybreak I went into my closet, the windows of which commanded 
the courtyard of the ministers ; at that very moment I saw the 
gates open, and a frenzied multitude of banditti, armed with pikes 
and bludgeons, and some of them with sabres and muskets, rush 
into the courtyard and run with the utmost speed to the courtyard 


of the Princes, wherein the staircase leading to the apartments of 
Their Majesties is situated. They all passed below my windows 
without seeing me. I waited about a quarter of an hour, and saw 
a considerable number of them bringing back a dozen of the body- 
guards, whom they had seized in the Queen's guard-room and were 
going to massacre in the Place d'Armes. Fortunately for these 
unhappy men M. de la Fayette appeared with some soldiers of the 
guards, whom he employed to drive off the banditti. It is known 
that they immediately went up to the Queen's apartments ; that 
the body-guard suffered them to enter their guard-room without 
opposition, in pursuance of the King's orders; that, however, those 
who stood sentinels at the door of the Queen's ante-chamber made 
some resistance, and gave the footmen time to awaken the Queen 
and barricade the door with trunks and chairs ; and that Her 
Majesty, alarmed by the noise, took refuge in the King's rooms 
through the communication between their apartments. The rioters 
then made their way in, and, finding their prey escaped, committed 
no violence in the apartments. But they had assassinated two of 
the*body-guards, and wounded many others in the guard-room, 
which was the result of the King's order of the preceding day to 
make no opposition. M. de la Fayette went up to the King's 
rooms, and found the door of the ante-chamber, called the " bull's- 
eye," closed and barricaded. He parleyed with the body-guards, 
who had taken refuge there to preserve His Majesty's apartments. 
Upon M. de la Fayette's assurances the door was opened. He 
then stationed there some grenadiers, who, in conjunction with the 
body-guards, kept that entry closed until the King's departure for 
Paris. The door by which the King generally went out to get into 
his carriage remained constantly free — the people of Paris were 
not aware of its existence. I wrapped myself in a great-coat to 
make my way through the crowd which filled the courtyard, and 
went up to the King's apartments. I found him with the Queen 
and the Dauphin in the balcony of his bedroom, protected by 
M. de la Fayette, who harangued the rabble from time to time ; 
but all his speeches could not stop their shouts of "To Paris, to 
Paris ! ' ' There were even a few musket-shots fired from the 
courtyard, which fortunately struck nobody. The King occa- 
sionally withdrew into his room to sit down and rest himself ; he 
was in a state of stupefaction, which it is difficult to describe or 
even to imagine. I accosted him repeatedly, and represented to 
him that delay in yielding to the wishes of the mob was useless 
and dangerous ; that it was necessary he should promise to go to 
Paris, and that this was the only way of getting rid of these 
savages, who might the very next moment proceed to the utmost 
extremities, to which there were not wanting persons to excite 
them. To all this the King did not answer one single word. The 
Queen, who was present, said to me, "Ah! Monsieur de Saint- 
Priest, why did we not go away last night!" I could not refrain 
from saying in reply, "It is no fault of mine." "I know that well," 
answered she. 

These remarks proved to me that she had no share in His 
Majesty's change of determination. He made up his mind at last, 


about eleven o'clock, to promise to go to Paris. Some cries of 
"Vive le Roi ! " were then heard, and the mob began to quit the 
courtyards and take the road to the capital. Care had been taken 
to send cartloads of bread from Paris during the night to feed the 
multitude. I left the King in order to be at the Tuileries before 
him, and as I took the St. Cloud road I met with no obstacle. I 
dined with the Ambassador of the Two Sicilies, and proceeded to 
the Tuileries, ready for the arrival of Their Majesties. I had not 
calculated that their unfortunate journey, which was a real mar- 
tyrdom, would have occupied so much time. Their carriage was 
preceded by the heads of two murdered body-guards carried upon 
pikes. The carriage was surrounded by ruffians, who contemplated 
the Royal personages with a brutal curiosity. A few of the body- 
guards on foot and unarmed, covered by the former French guards, 
followed dejectedly ; and to complete the climax, after six or seven 
hours spent in travelling from Versailles to Paris, Their Majesties 
were led to the Hotel de Ville as if to make the amende honorable. 
I know not who ordered this. The King ascended the Hotel de 
Ville, and said that he came freely to reside in his capital. As he 
spoke in a low tone of voice, " Tell them, then," said the Queen, 
" that the King comes freely to reside in his capital." " You are 
more fortunate than if I had uttered it," said Bailly, "since the Queen 
herself has given you this favourable assurance." This was a false- 
hood, in which His Majesty was obviously contradicted by facts; 
never had he acted less freely. It was near ten at night when 
the King reached the Tuileries. As he got out of his carriage I 
told him that if I had known he was going to the Hotel de Ville 
I would have waited for him there. "I did not know it myself," 
replied the King in a tone of dejection. 

On the morrow the body-guard, who had passed the night 
upon benches in the Castle of the Tuileries, were dismissed. M. de 
la Fayette filled up all the posts with the National Guard of Paris, 
which was commanded by himself, and hence he became the keeper 
of the Royal Family. 

Thus was fulfilled what I had told the King on the preceding 
day at Versailles, namely, that if he suffered himself to be dragged 
to Paris he would lose his crown. I did not then suspect that the 
life also of the unhappy monarch depended upon that false step. 

When I reflect how many favourable consequences would have 
resulted from a more steadfast resolution to quit Versailles, I feel 
myself even at this day filled with regret. 

In the first place M. de Villars, M. de la Fayette's aide-de-camp, 
who brought me the letter from the latter to Versailles on the 5th 
of October, told me that he had been sent by his general to the 
bridge of Sevres to know whether it was defended, and that if it 
had been he would have retreated. Secondly, Madame de Saint- 
Priest, on her arrival at Rambouillet, saw there a deputation from 
the city of Chartres, which is in its neighbourhood. They came in 
the name of their fellow-citizens to entreat His Majesty would make 
their city his asylum, to assure him they abhorred the insolence of 
the Parisians, and that they would lay down their lives and property 
in support of His Majesty's authority — an example which would 

VOL. II 23 


infallibly have been followed by the other towns one after another, 
and in particular by Orleans, which was wholly devoted to the 
Royal cause. The Mayor of Rambouillet has since assured me 
that the request of the deputation from Chartres was transcribed 
into the registers of the municipality of Rambouillet. It must be 
there still. Thirdly, the National Assembly, under the presidency 
of Mounier, a man of integrity, who had the welfare of the State at 
heart, had declared itself inseparable from His Majesty. It would 
therefore have followed him to Rambouillet and Chartres. It is 
probable, moreover, that the factious leaders would not have 
ventured themselves there, and that the National Assembly, puri- 
fied by their absence, would have knit itself to the King, whose 
intentions were pure, and that useful reforms would have been the 
results without an overthrow of the monarchical Constitution. 
Fourthly, and lastly, if it had been necessary to come to ex- 
tremities for the reduction of Paris, what advantages would not 
the Royal party have possessed over that city, which at that time 
subsisted only upon the corn carried up the Seine ! By stopping 
the convoys at Pontoise, Paris would have been starved. Besides, 
the King would easily have collected round him 10,000 men in four 
days, and 40,000 in five, secure of being able to concentrate 
still more considerable forces if circumstances should require it. 
The army under M. de Bouille, in his district of Metz, would have 
been ready to march in a very short time, and under such a general 
the insurgents would speedily have been subdued. 

Such is the correct narrative which I determined to give, as an 
eye-witness, and even as an actor, on the days of the 5th and 6th of 
October. It may one day contribute to the history of that remark- 
able period which, by its consequences, has perhaps decided the 
fate of the universe. 

Note No. 3, Page 133. 

Four or five months before the ill-omened journey to Varennes 
the Queen secretly began preparing for it. She was anxious to 
send before her several things very useful at ordinary times, but 
which it would then have been more prudent to look upon as 

I was ordered to prepare, with the utmost secrecy, a com- 
plete wardrobe for the Queen, her daughter and the Dauphin. 
The espionage of the Assembly was at that time carried to such 
a pitch, and the most indifferent actions of persons known to 
possess the confidence of Their Majesties were scrutinised with so 
much care, that I was obliged to go on foot, and almost disguised, 
to purchase all the necessary articles. 

My sister prepared the clothes intended for Madame and the 
Dauphin, under pretence of sending a present into the country. 
The trunks went to the frontiers as belonging to one of my aunts, 
Madame Candon, widow of the Mayor of Arras, who proceeded to 
Brussels under an order to wait there for the Queen, and who did 
not return to France until after the acceptance of the Constitution 
in September, 1791. A necessaire of enormous size, containing various 


articles, from a warming-pan to a silver porringer, was considered 
indispensable. The Queen was devising some way of forwarding 
her necessaire to Brussels. She had ordered it at the time of the 
first insurrections in 1789, to be made use of in case of precipitate 
flight. The moment for using it was come. She would not be 
deprived of it. 

I opposed the execution of this resolution with every effort 
of reasoning. A piece of furniture of great bulk, and adapted for 
travelling, could not be sent out of the Queen's chamber without 
giving rise to much suspicion, and perhaps to a denunciation. It 

was at last determined that M. F S , of the embassy from 

Vienna, at that time charge d'affaires in the absence of the Count 
de Mercy, should ask the Queen, as from Madame the Gouvernante, 
for a necessaire similar in every respect to her own. The directions 
to get the Archduchess's commission executed were given to me 
publicly. The Queen thought this stratagem sufficient for eluding 
all suspicion, but she deceived herself. Those who are born to 
thrones are, above all others, wanting in the knowledge of man- 

In vain did I urge the manufacturer to send home the work. 
He required two months more for that purpose, and the moment 
fixed on for the departure drew near. The Queen, still too intent 
upon this trifle, thought that, having really ordered a necessaire 
under a pretence of presenting it to her sister, she might feign a 
wish to put her in possession of it earlier, and send her own, 
and she desired me to send it off. 

I gave directions to the wardrobe-woman, whose business it 
was to attend to particulars of this nature, to put the necessaire 
into a condition to be packed up and carried in the Queen's name 
to M. de , who was to forward it to Brussels. 

The woman in question executed her commission punctually, 
but on the evening of that very day, the 15th of May, 1791, she 
informed M. Bailly, the mayor of Paris, that preparations were 
making at the Queen's residence for a departure, and that the 
necessaire was already sent off under pretence of its being presented 
to Madame Christina. 

It was necessary, likewise, to send off the whole of the dia- 
monds belonging to the Queen. Her Majesty shut herself up 
with me in a closet belonging to the entresol looking into the 
garden of the Tuileries, and we packed all the diamonds, rubies 
and pearls she possessed in a small chest. The cases containing 
these ornaments being altogether of considerable bulk, had been 
deposited ever since the 6th of October, 1789, with the valet de 
chambre who had the care of the Queen's jewels. That faithful 
servant, himself guessing the use that had been made of the 
valuables, destroyed all the boxes, which were as usual covered 
with red morocco marked with the cipher and arms of France. It 
would have been impossible for him to hide them from the eyes 
of the popular inquisitors during the domiciliary visits in January, 
1793, and the discovery might have formed a ground of accusation 
against the Queen. 

I had but a few articles to place in the box, when the Queen 



was compelled to suspend the operation of packing it, being under 
the necessity of going down to cards, which began at seven pre- 
cisely. She therefore desired me to leave all the diamonds upon 
the sofa, persuaded that, as she took the key of her closet herself 
and there was a sentinel under the window, no danger was to be 
apprehended for that night, and she reckoned upon returning very 
early the next day to finish the work. 

The same woman who had given information of the sending 
away of the necessaire was also deputed by the Queen to take care 
of her more private closets. No other servant was permitted to 
enter them ; she renewed the flowers, swept the carpets, &c. The 
Queen received back the key of her closets, when she had finished 
putting them in order, from her own hands ; but this woman, de- 
sirous of doing her duty well, and having the key sometimes for a 
few minutes only, had probably on that account alone ordered one 
without the Queen's knowledge. She made a formal declaration 
that Her Majesty, with the assistance of Madame Campan, had 
packed up the whole of her jewellery some time before the de- 
parture ; that she was certain of it, as she had found the diamonds 
and the cotton-wool which served to wrap them scattered upon the 
sofa in the Queen's closet in the entresol, and most assuredly she 
could only have seen these preparations in the interval between 
seven in the evening and seven in the morning. The Queen having 
met me the next day at the time appointed, the box was handed 
over to Leonard, Her Majesty's hairdresser. 

The box remained a long time at Brussels ; at length it got into 
the hands of Madame the Duchess d'Angouleme, being delivered to 
her by the Emperor on her arrival at Vienna. I will here add some 
particulars for which there was no proper place elsewhere. In 
order not to leave out any of the Queen's diamonds, I requested 
the first tire-woman to give me the body of the full dress, and all 
the assortment which served for the stomacher of the full dress on 
the days of State, articles which always remained at the wardrobe. 

The superintendent and the dame d'honneur being absent, the 
first tire-woman required me to sign her a receipt, the terms of 
which she herself dictated, and which acquitted her of all responsi- 
bility for these diamonds. She had the prudence to burn this 
document on the crisis of the ioth of August. The Queen having 
determined, upon the much-to-be-lamented arrest at Varennes, not 
to have her diamonds brought back to France, was often very 
anxious about them during the year which elapsed between that 
period and that of the ioth of August, and dreaded above all things 
that such a secret should be discovered. 

In consequence of a decree of the Assembly which deprived 
the King of the custody of the Crown diamonds, the Queen gave 
up those which she generally used. 

She preferred the twelve brilliants called mazarines, from the 
name of the cardinal who had enriched the Treasury with them, a 
few rose-cut diamonds and the sanci. She determined to deliver, 
with her own hands, the box containing them to the commissioner 
nominated by the National Assembly, to place them with the Crown 
diamonds. After giving them to him, she presented him a row of 


fine pearls of great beauty, saying to him, " that it had been brought 
into France by Anne of Austria ; that it was invaluable on account 
of its rarity ; that having been appropriated by that Princess to the 
use of the Queens and Dauphinesses, Louis XV. had placed it in her 
hands on her arrival in France ; but that she considered it national 
property." "That is a question, madam," said the commissary; 
"that is a matter of opinion." "Sir," resumed the Queen, "it 
is an opinion on which I have a right to decide, and I now set 
it at rest." 

My father-in-law, who was drawing near his end and dying of 
the grief he felt for the misfortunes of his master and mistress, 
strongly interested and occupied the thoughts of the Queen. He 
had been saved from the fury of the populace in the courtyard of 
the Tuileries. 

On the day on which the King was compelled, by an insurrec- 
tion, to give up a journey to St. Cloud, Her Majesty looked upon 
this trusty servant as inevitably lost if, on going away, she should 
leave him in the apartment he occupied in the Tuileries. Prompted 
by her apprehensions, she ordered M. Vicq-d'Azyr, her physician, 
to recommend him the waters of Mont d'Or, in Auvergne, and to 
persuade him to set off at the latter end of May. At the moment 
of my going away, the Queen assured me that the grand project 
would be executed between the 15th and the 20th of June ; that as 
it was not my month to be on duty, Madame Thibaut would take 
the journey ; but that she had many directions to give me before I 
went. She then desired me to write to my aunt, Madame Cardon, 
who was by that time in possession of the clothes which I had 
ordered, that as soon as she should receive a letter from M. Auguie, 
the date of which should be accompanied with a B, an L, or an M, 
she was to proceed with her property to Brussels, Luxembourg or 
Montmedy. She desired me clearly to explain to my sister the 
meaning of these three letters and to leave them with her in writing, 
in order that at the moment of my going away she might be able 
to succeed me in writing to Arras. The Queen had a more delicate 
commission for me ; it was to select from among my acquaintance a 
prudent person of obscure rank, but wholly devoted to the interests 
of the Court, who would be willing to receive a portfolio which she 
was to give up only to me or someone furnished with a note from 
the Queen. She added that she would not travel with this portfolio, 
but that it was of the utmost importance that my opinion of the 
fidelity of the person to whom it was to be entrusted should be 
matured and well founded. I proposed to her Madame Vallayer 
Coster, an amiable and a worthy artist whom I had known from my 
infancy, and whose sentiments were not to be doubted. She lived 
in the galleries of the Louvre. The choice seemed a good one. 
The Queen remembered that she had portioned her by giving her 
a place in the financial offices, and added that gratitude ought 
sometimes to be reckoned on. She then pointed out to me the valet 
belonging to her toilette whom I was to take with me to show him 
the residence of Madame Coster in the galleries of the Louvre, 
so that he might not mistake it when he should take the port- 
folio to her. On the evening preceding my departure, the Queen 


particularly recommended me to proceed to Lyons and the frontiers 
as soon as she should have departed. She advised me to take with 
me a confidential person fit to remain with M. Campan when I 

should leave him, and assured me she would give orders to M 

to set off as soon as she should be known to be at the frontiers, 
in order to protect me in going out. She condescended to add 
that, having a long journey to make in foreign countries, she 
determined to give me 300 louis. I bathed the Queen's hands 
with tears at the moment of this sorrowful separation, and 
having money at my disposal, I declined accepting of her gold. 
I did not dread the tiresome road I had to travel in order to 
rejoin her ; all my apprehension was that, by treachery or mis- 
calculation, a scheme, the practicability of which was not suffi- 
ciently clear to me, should fail. I could answer for all those 
who belonged to the service immediately about the Queen's 
person, and I was right ; but her wardrobe woman gave me 
well-founded reason for alarm. I ventured to communicate this, 
to the Queen ; I had never taken advantage of the confidence 
with which I was honoured by her to do anyone an injury ; but 
at this moment it was my duty to act in opposition to my prin- 
ciples. I mentioned to the Queen a number of revolutionary 
remarks which this woman had made to me a few days before. 
Her office was directly under the control of: he first femme de 
chambre, yet she had refused to obey the directions I gave her, 
talking insolently to me about hierarchy overturned, equality among 
men, of course, more especially among persons holding offices at 
Court ; and this jargon of words, at that time in the mouths of 
all the partisans of the Revolution, was terminated by an 
observation which frightened me. " You know many important 
secrets, madam," said this woman to me; "and I have guessed 
quite as many. I am not a fool ; I see all that is going for- 
ward here, in consequence of the bad advice given to the King 
and Queen; I could frustrate it all if I chose." I left this con- 
tention, in which I had been promptly silenced, pale and 
trembling. Unfortunately, as I began my narrative to the 
Queen, with particulars of the woman's refusal to obey me (and 
Sovereigns being all their lives importuned with complaints upon 
the prerogatives of places), she believed that my own dissatisfac- 
tion had much to do with the step I was taking, and she did 
not sufficiently fear the woman. Her office, although a very 
inferior one, brought her in nearly 15,000 francs yearly. Still 
young, tolerably handsome, with comfortable apartments in the 
entresols of the Tuileries, she saw a great deal of company, and 
in the evening had assemblies consisting of deputies of the revo- 
lutionary party. M. de Gouvion, major-general of the National 
Guard, passed almost every day with her, and it is to be pre- 
sumed that she had long been subservient to the views of the 
party in opposition to the Court. The Queen asked her for the 
key of a door which led to the principal vestibule of the Tuile- 
ries, telling her she wished to have a similar one, that she might 
not be under the necessity of going out through the Pavilion of 
Flora. M. de Gouvion and M. de la Fayette would, of course, 


be informed of this circumstance, and persons possessing ex- 
ceedingly good intelligence have assured me that, on the very 
night of the Queen's departure, this wretched woman had a spy 
with her, who saw the Royal Family set off. 

As for myself, after I had executed all the Queen's orders, on 
the 30th of May, 1791, I set out for Auvergne. I was settled in 
the gloomy narrow valley of the Mont d'Or, when, about four in 
the afternoon of the 25th of June, I heard the beat of a drum, 
to call the inhabitants of the hamlet together. When it had 
ceased, I heard a hairdresser from Besse proclaim in the pro 
vincial dialect of Auvergne: "The King and Queen were taking 
flight in order to ruin France, but I come to tell you that they 
are stopped, and are well guarded by a hundred thousand men 
under arms." I still ventured to hope that he was repeating 
only a false report, but he went on, " The Queen, with her 
well-known haughtiness, lifted up the veil which covered her 
face, and said to the citizens who were upbraiding the King, 
'Well, since you recognise your Sovereign, respect him.'" Upon 
hearing these expressions, which the Jacobin Club of Clermont 
could hardly have invented, I exclaimed, "The news is true!" 

I should but ill-express the despair which overwhelmed me, 
and it would fill too secondary a situation in the account of so 
important an event. I immediately learned that a courier having 
come from Paris to Clermont, the attorney of the commune had 
sent off messengers to the chief places of the province ; these 
again sent couriers to the districts, and the districts in like 
manner informed the villages and hamlets which they contained. 
It was through this ramification, arising out of the establish- 
ment of clubs, that the afflicting intelligence of the misfortune of 
my Sovereigns reached me in the wildest part of France, and in 
the midst of the snows by which we were environed. 

On the 23rd I received a note written in a hand which I 
recognised as that of M. Diet, usher of the Queen's chamber, 
but dictated by Her Majesty. It contained these words: "I am 
this moment arrived. I have just got into my bath. I, and my 
family, exist. I have suffered much. Do not return to Paris 
until I desire you. Take good care of my poor Campan ; soothe 
his sorrow. Look for happier times." 

This note was, for greater safety, addressed to my father-in- 
law's valet de chambre. What were my feelings, on perceiving 
that, after the most distressing crisis, we were among the first 
objects of the kindness of that unfortunate Princess ! 

M. Campan having been unable to use the waters of Mont 
d'Or, and the first popular effervescence having subsided, I 
thought I might return to Clermont. The Committee of Surveil- 
lance, or that of General Safety, had resolved to arrest me there; 
but the Abbe Louis, formerly a parliamentary councillor, and 
then a member of the Constituent Assembly, was kind enough to 
affirm that I was in Auvergne solely for the purpose of attending 
my father-in-law, who was extremely ill. The precautions rela- 
tive to my absence from Paris, were limited to placing us under 
the surveillance of the attorney of the commune, who was at 


the same time president of the Jacobin club ; but he was also a 
physician of repute, and, without having any doubt that he had 
received secret orders relative to me, I thought it would contri- 
bute to our quiet if I selected him to attend my patient. I paid 
him according to the rate of payment made to the best Paris 
physicians, and I requested him to visit us every morning and 
evening. I took the precaution to subscribe to no other news- 
paper than the Moniteur. Dr. Monestier (for that was the physi- 
cian's name) frequently took upon himself to read it to us. 
Whenever he thought proper to speak of the King and Queen 
in the insulting and brutal terms at that time unfortunately 
adopted throughout France, I used to stop him, and say coolly, 
" Sir, you are here in company with the servants of Louis XVI. 
and Marie Antoinette. Whatever may be the wrongs with which 
the nation believes it has to reproach them, our principles forbid 
our losing sight of the respect due to them from us." Notwith- 
standing he was an inveterate patriot, he felt the force of this 
remark, and even procured the revocation of a second order for 
our arrest, becoming responsible for us to the Committee of the 
Assembly and to the Jacobin Society. 

The two chief women about the Dauphin, who had accom- 
panied the Queen to Varennes, Diet, her usher, and Camot, her 
garqon de toilette; the females, on account of the journey, and the 
men in consequence of the denunciation of the woman belonging 
to the wardrobe, were sent to the prisons of the Abbaye. After 
my departure the garqon de toilette, whom I had taken to Madame 
Vallayer Coster's, was sent there with the portfolio she had agreed 
to receive. This commission could not escape the detestable spy 
upon the Queen. She gave information that a portfolio had been 
carried out- on the evening of the departure, adding that the King 
had placed it upon the Queen's sofa ; that the garqon de toilette 
wrapped it up in a napkin and took it under his arm, and that she 
did not know where he had carried it. The man, who was remark- 
able for his fidelity, underwent three examinations without making 
the slightest disclosure. M. Diet, a man of good family, a servant 
on whom the Queen placed particular reliance, likewise experienced 
the severest treatment. At length, after a lapse of three weeks, the 
Queen succeeded in obtaining the emancipation of her servants. 

The Queen, about the 15th of August, had me informed by 
letter that I might come back to Paris without being under any 
apprehension of arrest there, and that she greatly desired my 
return. I brought my father-in-law back in a dying state, and on 
the day preceding that of the acceptance of the Constitutional 
Act, I informed the Queen that he was no more. "The loss of 
Lassonne and Campan," said she, as she applied her handkerchief 
to her streaming eyes, "has taught me bow valuable such subjects 
are to their masters. I shall never find their equals." 

I resumed my functions about the Queen on the 1st of Sep- 
tember, 1791. I was struck with the astonishing change misfortune 
had wrought upon her features. Her whole head of hair had 
turned almost white during the transit from Varennes to Paris. 
She had lost the power of sleeping soundly. Wishing to have as 


soon as possible the consolation under her troubles which day 
brought to her, she would not have her shutters closed. I found all 
the guards, established in the most retired parts of her apartments, 
still in existence. A commandant of battalion usually spent the 
night sitting in the space between the two doors of the saloon and 
the bedroom. The folding doors were open on the Queen's side, 
and his arm-chair was placed so that he should not lose sight of 
her. There was even some hesitation about suffering a post-bed- 
stead to be brought every evening near the Queen's bed for her 
first woman to lie upon, and it was alleged that this bedstead would 
prevent the commandant having his eyes directly upon that of the 

The door of the room in which the Royal Family sat remained 
open all day, so that the guards could see them and hear what they 
said. The King closed it repeatedly, and it was as often imme- 
diately opened by the officer, who said to him, in an authoritative 
tone, "/ beg this door may not be shut; such are my orders." One of 
the captains of the guard constantly passed four-and-twenty succes- 
sive hours at the bottom of the dark corridor which runs behind 
the Queen's apartments. He had a table and two wax lights near 
him. This post, which was like the closest prison, was by no 
means sought after. Saint-Prix, an actor belonging to the Comedie 
Francaise, almost appropriated it to himself, and his conduct in 
it towards his unfortunate Sovereigns was always respectful and 
affecting. The King came to the Queen's apartments through this 
corridor, and the actor of the Theatre Francais often afforded the 
august and unfortunate couple the consolation of conversing to- 
gether without any witness. To such an extent was severity 
carried that an officer named Collet had to get rescinded the 
order which enjoined him to follow the Queen to her wardrobe and 
to stand sentinel at the door as long as she should remain there. 

The day on which I resumed my duties about the Queen she 
was unable to converse with me on all the lamentable events which 
had occurred since the time of my leaving her, having that day on 
guard near her an officer whom she dreaded more than all the 
others. She merely told me that I should have some secret services 
to perform for her, and that she would not create uneasiness by 
long conversation with me, my return being a subject of alarm. 
But the next day the Queen, well knowing the discretion of the 
officer who was to be on guard that night, had my bed placed 
very near hers, and having obtained the favour of having the 
door shut when I was in bed, she began the narrative of the 
journey and the unfortunate arrest at Varennes. I asked her per- 
mission to put on my gown, and, kneeling by her bedside, I re- 
mained until three o'clock in the morning listening with the 
liveliest and most sorrowful interest to the account I am about to 
repeat, and of which I have seen various details of tolerable exact- 
ness in papers of the time. 

The King entrusted the Count de Fersen, who as a foreigner 
was exempt from national inculpations, with all the preparations 
for the departure. The carriage was ordered by him; the pass- 
port, in the name of Madame de Korf, was procured through his 


connections with that lady, who was a foreigner ; and, lastly, he 
himself drove the Royal Family, as their coachman, as far as 
Bondy, where the travellers got into their berlin. Madame Brunier 
and Madame de Neuville, the first women of Madame and the 
Dauphin, there joined the principal carriage. They were in a 
cabriolet. Monsieur and Madame set out from the Luxembourg 
and took another road. They, as well as the King, were recognised 
by the master of the last post in France ; but this man, devoting 
himself to the fortune of the Prince, left the French territory and 
drove them himself as postilion. Madame Thibaut, the Queen's 
first woman, reached Brussels without the slightest difficulty. 
Madame Gardon, from Arras, met with no hindrance, and Leonard, 
the Queen's hairdresser, passed through Varennes a few hours 
before the Royal Family. Fate had reserved all its obstacles for 
the unfortunate monarch. 

Nothing worthy of notice occurred in the beginning of the 
journey. The travellers were detained a short time, about twelve 
leagues from Paris, by some repairs which the carriage required. 
The King chose to walk up one of the hills, and there two circum- 
stances caused a delay of three hours — precisely the time when it 
was intended that the berlin should have been met, just before 
reaching Varennes, by the detachment commanded by M. Goguelat. 
This detachment was punctually stationed upon the spot fixed on, 
with orders to wait there for the arrival of a certain treasure, which 
it was to escort ; but the peasantry of the neighbourhood, alarmed 
at the sight of this body of troops, came armed with staves, and 
asked several questions, which manifested their anxiety. M. Goguelat, 
fearful of causing a riot, and not finding the carriage arrive as he 
expected, divided his men into two companies, and unfortunately 
made them leave the highway in order to return to Varennes by two 
cross-roads. 1 The King looked out of the carriage at St. Menehould, 
and asked several questions concerning the road. Drouet, the 
postmaster, whose fatal name will long be preserved in history, 
struck by the forcible resemblance of Louis to the impression of his 
head upon the assignats, drew near the carriage, felt convinced that 
he recognised the Queen also, and judging that the remainder of the 
travellers consisted of the Royal Family and their suite, instantly 
mounted his horse, reached Varennes by cross-roads before the 
Royal fugitives, and gave the alarm. 

The Queen began to feel all the agonies of terror ; they were 
augmented by the voice of a person unknown, who, passing close to 
the carriage in full gallop, cried out to them, bending towards the 
window of their carriage, without however slackening his speed, 
" You are recognised ! " 

They arrived with beating hearts at the gates of Varennes 
without meeting one of the horsemen by whom they were to have 
been escorted into the place. They were ignorant where to find 
their relays ; and some minutes were lost in waiting to no purpose. 

1 Madame Campan here attributes to M. de Goguelat the steps taken by 
the Duke de Choiseul, the motives for which he gives in his Memoirs, p. 84. — 
Note by the Editor. 


The cabriolet had preceded them ; and the two ladies in attendance 
found the bridge already blocked up with old carts and lumber. 
The town-guards were all under arms. The King at last entered 
Varennes. M. Goguelat had arrived there with his detachment. 
He came up to the King and asked him if he chose to effect a 
passage by force ! "What an unlucky question to put to Louis XVI., 
who from the very beginning of the Revolution had shown, in every 
crisis of it, the fear he entertained of giving the least order which 
might cause an effusion of blood ! " Would it be a brisk action? " 
said the King. " It is impossible that it should be otherwise, Sire," 
replied the aide-de-camp. Louis XVI. was unwilling to expose his 
family. They therefore went to the house of a grocer, mayor of 
Varennes. The King began to speak, and gave a summary of his 
intentions in departing, analogous to the declaration he had made at 
Paris. He spoke with warmth and affability, and endeavoured to 
demonstrate to the people around him that he had only put himself, 
by the step he had taken, into a fit situation to treat with the 
Assembly, and to sanction with freedom the Constitution which he 
would maintain, though many of its articles were incompatible with 
the dignity of the throne and the force by which it was necessary 
that the Sovereign should be surrounded. Nothing could be more 
affecting, added the Queen, than this moment in which the King 
communicated to the very humblest class of his subjects his prin- 
ciples, his wishes for the happiness of his people, and the motives 
which had determined him to depart. Whilst the King was speaking 
to this mayor, whose name was Sauce, the Queen, seated at the 
farther end of the shop, among parcels of soap and candles, en- 
deavoured to make Madame Sauce understand that if she would 
prevail upon her husband to make use of his municipal authority to 
cover the flight of the King and his family, she would have the glory 
of having contributed to restore tranquillity to France. This woman 
was moved ; she could not without streaming eyes see herself thus 
solicited by her Queen ; but she could not be got to say anything 
more than, "Bless me, madam, it would be the destruction of M. 
Sauce. I love my King, but, by Our Lady, I love my husband too, 
you must know, and he would be answerable, you see." Whilst 
this strange and unavailing scene was passing in the shop, the people, 
hearing that the King was arrested, kept pouring in from all parts. 
M. Goguelat, making a last effort, demanded of the dragoons whether 
they would protect the departure of the King ; they replied only by 
murmurs, dropping the points of their swords. Some person un- 
known fired a pistol at M. Goguelat; he was slightly wounded by 
the ball. M. Romeuf, aide-de-camp to M. de la Fayette, arrived at 
that moment. He had been chosen after the 6th of October, 1789, 
by the commander of the Parisian guard, to be in constant atten- 
dance about the Queen. She reproached him bitterly with the 
object of his mission. " If you wish to make your name remarkable, 
sir," said the Queen to him, " you have chosen strange and odious 
means, which will produce the most fatal consequences." This 
officer wished to hasten their departure. The Queen still cherishing 
the hope of seeing M. de Bouille arrive with a force sufficient to 
extricate the King from his critical situation, prolonged her stay at 


Varennes by every means in her power. The Dauphin's first woman 
pretended to be taken ill with a violent colic, and threw herself upon 
a bed in the hope of aiding the designs of her superiors ; she wept 
and implored for assistance. The Queen understood her perfectly 
well, and refused to leave in such a state of suffering one who had 
devoted herself to follow them. But as the relief they hoped for 
was also apprehended by those who had arrested them, no delay in 
departing was allowed. The three body-guards (Valory, Dumoutier 
and Maiden) were bound and fastened upon the seat of the carriage. 

A horde of National Guards, animated with fury and the bar- 
barous joy with which their fatal triumph inspired them, surrounded 
the carriage of the Royal Family. 

The three commissioners sent by the Assembly to meet the 
King, MM. de Latour-Maubourg, Barnave and Petion, joined 
them in the environs of Epernay. The two last mentioned got into 
the King's carriage; already the infuriated band that surrounded 
the illustrious victims had massacred before their eyes M. de Dam- 
pierre, a knight of St. Louis, living upon an estate in the environs of 
Varennes. He had hastened to pay his respects to the King ; this 
impulse, so natural to all good Frenchmen, was punished by a cruel 
death. At some distance from Epernay a village priest ventured to 
approach the carriage, merely actuated by his desire to behold the 
countenance of the unfortunate monarch. He was instantly knocked 
down, and was about to perish in sight of the Royal Family. Shocked 
at these atrocious murders, Barnave darted to the window : " Are we 
amongst tigers?" he exclaimed. "Let that venerable old man 
depart unmolested. Show at this important moment the composure 
of a great nation worthy of winning its liberties." The old priest 
was saved. Madame Elizabeth, surprised and delighted with the 
generous emotion of Barnave, seeing him ready to throw himself 
out of the window, seized hold of the flap of his coat to save him 
from falling. Courage and humanity at that moment united the 
feelings of the pious daughter of the Bourbons to those of the inde- 
pendent plebeian who for two years had waged war upon the 
ancient rights of monarchy. He whose name had never been pro- 
nounced except with contempt and horror had proved himself a 
man of feeling ; and from this time Barnave possessed an interest 
in the hearts of these unfortunate Princesses. They even ventured 
to begin to converse in a connected manner respecting the critical 
situation in which France and the Royal Family stood. The King, 
in the beginning of the discourse, notwithstanding his extreme shy- 
ness, hazarded a few remarks ; but having asked what the French 
people would wish to attain, Petion replied, with barbarous sin- 
cerity, " A republic, when they are so fortunate as to be ripe enough 
for one." From that moment the King imposed silence upon him- 
self, which he did not once break until he reached Paris, even 
by monosyllables. 

The deputies were invited to take some refreshment from 
a canteen of chicken and pastry which was in the carriage. 
Petion readily accepted the offer. Madame Elizabeth poured 
out the wine. Petion, doubtless in the affectation of being 
quite at ease, tapped his glass under the neck of the bottle 


to show her there was enough in it. The dignity of Barnave 
was offended by such gross affectation, and he would not eat 
anything. Being pressed by the Queen to take something, he 
replied, " Madam, under such solemn circumstances the deputies 
of the National Assembly ought to occupy the attention of 
Your Majesties only with their commission, and not with their 
wants." This line of conduct being adhered to by Barnave 
during the whole of the route, naturally made a favourable 
impression upon the minds of the Queen and Madame Eliza- 
beth ; and the Princesses had many private conversations with 
him at the places where the sorrowful train stopped to rest. 
They found him full of sense and judicious intentions, much 
attached -to the system of a constitutional monarchy, but aware 
of the incalculable dangers that France would be exposed to 
under a republican government. 

Note No. 4, Page 159. 
On the Administration of the Queen's Household. 

The expenses of the Queen's household were controlled by 
the Secretary of State, to whom the department of the King's 
household belonged. 

The first office was that of the principal secretary for orders, in 
which were made out the brevets or titles of nomination of all the 
officers and ladies belonging to the establishment, and the bills 
known by the name of menus for the regulation of the expenses. 

The general bill included the supplies of bread, wine, meat, 
wood, wax, &c, and the divers accounts comprised under this 
general head formed a sort of fictitious estimate of expenditure ; for 
instance, the bread, the wine, and the different dishes for the table 
were all specified, as well as the wood and charcoal, and everything 
else that was necessary for consumption in the household. The 
nature of the articles might be and was varied, but the expenditure 
remained the same, unless it might be in perquisites. By this 
means the expense of every article was so known and fixed before 
its consumption as not to allow of its being exceeded. Sometimes, 
however, articles were required, the expense of which had not been 
foreseen, such as some particular novelty or anything unusually rare 
or expensive. A separate account was kept of such things, and the 
cost of them was defrayed out of the perquisites. 

The expenses of the stable department were provided for in the 
same manner by fictitious estimates which regulated the charges for 
liveries, equipages, and corn and hay for the horses. 

For any unexpected expenses private accounts were made out, 
which were easily examined, as they consisted of a very few articles. 

These accounts, or lists, fixed the emoluments of everyone at- 
tached to the household or connected with its supplies. 

The second office, that of comptroller-general, carried into 
execution the orders made out from these lists, and sanctioned the 
use of the sum specified, and the perquisites which accrued when 
the expenses had not taken place. 


This office was, in fact, the central point which decided and 
limited all the expenses, ordinary and extraordinary. 

The expenses of the bed-chamber were under the regulation of 
the lady in superintendence, of the dame d'honneur and the comp- 
troller-general of the household. 

Those of the household, comprehending the kitchen and fires, 
were regulated by the first maitre d' hotel, the other maitres d'hotel 
and the comptroller-general. 

Those of the stables by the first equerry and the comptroller- 

By these regulations the comptroller-general became especially 
responsible for all that occurred. 

Measures of economy were deemed advisable, and it was 
thought necessary to deprive the principal officers of the part 
assigned them in the administration of the expenses. A new office 
was in consequence created, under the name of commissariat- 
general, presided over by the comptroller-general, the minister of 
the King's household, and the different commissioners in the ser- 
vice of the King and Queen. 

The Queen's household only maintained this new form two 
years. The original officers demanded the restoration of their 
ancient rights at the end of that time. 

The right which the principal officers had of making out ex- 
penses which they had the power of relatively influencing for their 
own interests, or that of their dependents, sometimes for their old 
servants and always for their proteges, must certainly be regarded as 
an abuse. The principal officers had each a secretary, paid by the 
Queen. These secretaries had no other employment than to receive 
the oaths which were taken before the officers above-mentioned. 
The secretary of the Queen's tire-women had somewhat more to 
do, as that lady managed her own accounts, which she might 
almost be said to farm, having fixed prices for all the clothes of 
Her Majesty. 

The different duties were fulfilled by the officers in waiting, 
some serving for three months together, some for six, and others in 

The Queen's council was merely nominal. The lady in super- 
intendence and a chancellor were at its head. It sometimes met to 
receive accounts from the treasurer, but only as a matter of form. 

The Queen had a chapel, consisting of a grand and first almoner 
and many others; clerks, with chaplains, preachers and attendants, 
serving as above stated, some quarterly and others half-yearly. 

The Queen had also several physicians attached to her house- 
hold, to attend on her own person and likewise on those around 
her. These different establishments were paid from the funds of 
the household. 

The lady in superintendence and the lady of honour presided 
over the bed-chamber. There were attached to it twelve honorary 
ladies of the bed-chamber, a chevalier d'honneur, gentleman in waiting 
and a train-bearer. 

The establishment of the bed-chamber consisted of two first 
femmes de chambre and twelve others; ushers of the bed-chamber, 


the closet, and the ante-chamber ; of valets, footmen and other 
servants of an inferior description. 

It is undeniable that so many persons, the greater part of 
whom were unknown, must have encumbered the service rather 
than have been any honour to it. It may likewise be observed 
that the privilege of the officers to serve by three months at a time, 
leaving every individual at liberty to go into his province as soon 
as his quarter was expired, estranged him too much from the 
personage to whom he was attached and rendered it easy for him 
to magnify his own importance by inventing whatever falsehoods 
he might think likely to add to it. Officers in ordinary, of whom 
there would consequently be a sufficient number known, would 
have rendered the duty more agreeable and more lucrative to those 
who might be in the discharge of it. It is conceived that saleable 
places, under the name of offices, are not without inconvenience, 
for it is evident that through this practice many a man holds a 
post which would never have been assigned to him if it had not 
been necessary to pay for it. Even when serving by commission 
all who approach the King ought to be sworn, nor should this 
oath be regarded as a mere ceremony. Those whose offices are 
honourable ought to take it before their Royal master himself, and 
inferiors before their respective principals. 

The stables are a department of the first importance, as well 
on account of the dignity as the expense connected with it. 

The Queen's stables were governed by the first equerry ; the 
second was an equerry cavalcadeur. There were twelve pages. They 
did not receive any salary, but their board and maintenance and 
education, which was a military one, were all provided for. The 
coachmen, postilions, &c, were under the direction of the first 
equerry ; they wore liveries, and their expenses, like those of the 
bed-chamber and tables, were regulated by the lists of direction for 
the Queen's household, as were also the keeping and replacing of 
the horses, by which means the whole expenditure, or at least the 
greater part of it, was known beforehand, which enabled the 
comptroller-general to manage with ease all the regular expenses, 
and gave him the means of explaining more readily any which 
might not have been foreseen. 

Many supplies were purchased by tender at the lowest price 
offered ; as, for instance, bread, wine, meat and fish for the table, 
and, in general, every article of purveyorship. 

It might be advisable, as a measure of economy, where there is 
a household comprising many separate establishments, to employ 
the same contractors for all of them, by which means, without 
adding anything to the expense of management, they might all be 
supplied at a much more moderate rate. 

It may finally be remarked that the registers and papers of 
the office of comptroller-general of the Queen's household are 
deposited among the archives of the prefecture of the department 
at Versailles. They must, unavoidably, be in bad order ; never- 
theless, some useful information might be extracted from them. 




Note (A), Page 2. 
Extract from the Memoirs of the Abbe Georgel. 

The Countess de Lamotte, who is destined to play so con- 
spicuous a part on this stage in the drama, the lamentable scenes 
of which are about to be displayed, was born in Champagne, under 
a thatched roof and in indigent circumstances. This was either a 
freak of the blind goddess or the result of misfortune, for she has 
since proved her descent, on the side of the Counts of St. Remey, 
from the Royal House of Valois. D'Hozier, the genealogist, has 
confirmed it by his certificate. This august origin did not much 
ameliorate her condition. She became the wife of M. de Lamotte, 
a gentleman and a private gendarme. Their united resources were 
very limited ; poverty, however, is no disgrace when it is not the 
result of misconduct. It was in this point of view that she pre- 
sented herself before the Grand Almoner to appeal to his generosity, 
and at the same time to implore his good offices with the King. 
The Countess de Lamotte, without possessing the full splendour 
of beauty, was gifted with all the graces of youth, and her coun- 
tenance was intelligent and attractive ; she expressed herself with 
fluency, and the air of truth that pervaded her recitals carried 
persuasion along with it. It will soon be discovered that these 
outward attractions concealed the heart and the magic powers 
of a Circe. 

The birth and the misfortunes of a descendant of the House 
of Valois excited a deep interest in the noble and compassionate 
breast of the Cardinal de Rohan, who would have rejoiced in 
placing her on a level with her ancestors, but the finances of the 
King did not permit him to proportion his bounty to so fair a title ; 
he could only supply such slender support as the exigencies of the 
present moment demanded. This artful and insinuating woman 
soon imagined that the heart of her benefactor was susceptible of 
yet stronger impressions, which she was fully capable of inspiring 
in it. Gratitude and fresh wants renewed her visits and her inter- 


views. She did not fail to remark that her presence awakened 
great interest in the Cardinal, who followed the impulse of his 
feelings. His Eminence advised her to address herself immediately 
to the Queen, presuming that that generous Princess would be 
struck by the contrast between her actual situation and her birth, 
and would doubtless find some means of extricating her from her 
painful situation. The Cardinal, in avowing that he was himself 
unable to procure her an interview with the Queen, in several 
succeeding conversations carried the excess of his confidence towards 
Madame de Lamotte so far as to describe to her the deep morti- 
fication he experienced in having incurred the displeasure of Her 
Majesty ; it created, he observed, a perpetual bitterness in his 
soul, which poisoned his happiest moments. From this confidence 
arose that infernal spark which kindled into so disastrous a flame. 
It also gave rise to the formation of a plan of imposition, of which 
the annals of human credulity can furnish few parallels. The 
outline of the scheme was as follows : Madame de Lamotte 
undertook to persuade the Cardinal that she had obtained a con- 
siderable degree of intimacy with the Queen ; that, influenced by 
the rare and excellent qualities she had discovered in the Grand 
Almoner, she had spoken of them so often and with so much 
enthusiasm to Her Majesty, that she had by degrees succeeded 
in removing her prejudices, and even revived in her the wish to 
restore her favour to the Cardinal. Her insinuations, she more- 
over pretended, had had so much effect that Marie Antoinette had 
permitted the Cardinal to address his justification to her ; and, 
finally, had desired to have a correspondence with him in writing, 
which should be kept secret till the auspicious moment should 
arrive for the open avowal of his complete restoration to her favour. 
The Countess de Lamotte was to be the intermediate vehicle of this 
correspondence, the result of which was, undoubtedly, to place the 
Cardinal at the very summit of favour and influence. 

Madame de Lamotte, after having increased the hopes of 
the Cardinal with every art and all the power of intrigue she 
was mistress of, at length said to him, " I am authorised by the 
Queen to demand of you, in writing, a justification of the faults 
that you are- accused of." This authorisation, invented by the 
Countess de Lamotte and credited by the Cardinal, appeared to 
him the herald of an auspicious day; in a little time his apology, 
written by himself and couched in the fittest terms to efface the 
injurious impressions that so much disquieted him, was confided 
to Madame de Lamotte. Some days afterwards she brought an 
answer back to him, written on a small sheet of gilt-edged paper, 
in which Marie Antoinette, whose handwriting was successfully 
imitated, was made to say, " I have read your letter : I am re- 
joiced to find you not guilty. At present I am not able to grant 
you the audience you desire. When circumstances permit, you 
shall be informed of it. Remain discreet." These few words 
caused in the Cardinal a delirium of satisfaction, which it would 
be difficult to describe. Madame de Lamotte from that moment 
was his tutelary angel, who smoothed for him the path of happi- 
ness, and from that period she might have obtained from him 
whatever she could have desired. 

VOL. II 24 


Soon afterwards, encouraged by success, she fabricated a 
correspondence between the Queen and the Cardinal. The 
demands for money which, under different pretexts, the Queen 
appeared to make on the Grand Almoner in these forged letters, 
produced Madame de Lamotte in the whole 120,000 livres ; and 
yet nothing could open the eyes of this credulous and immoral 
man to the deceit that was in this manner practised upon him. 

In the meantime an unfortunate circumstance contributed 
to hurry the Cardinal still more unfortunately into extraordinary 
adventures ; some monster, envious of the tranquillity of honest 
men, had vomited forth upon our country an enthusiastic empiric, 
a new apostle of the religion of Nature, who created converts in 
the most despotic manner, and subjected them entirely to his 

Some speedy cures, effected in cases that were pronounced 
incurable and fatal in Switzerland and Strasburg, spread the 
name of Cagliostro far and wide, and raised his renown to' 
that of a truly miraculous physician. His attention towards 
the poor, and his contempt for the rich, imparted to his cha- 
racter an air of superiority and interest which excited the 
greatest enthusiasm. Those whom he chose to honour with his 
familiarity left his society in ecstasies at his transcendent qualities. 
The Cardinal de Rohan was at his residence at Saverne, when 
the Count de Cagliostro astonished Strasburg and all Switzerland 
with his conduct, and the extraordinary cures he had performed. 
Curious to behold so remarkable a personage, the Cardinal went 
to Strasburg ; it was found necessary to use interest to be admitted 
to the Count. " If M. le Cardinal is sick," said he, " let him come 
to me, and I will cure him ; if he be well, he has no business 
with me, nor have I with him." This reply, far from giving offence 
to the vanity of the Cardinal, only increased the desire he had to 
be acquainted with him. At length, having gained admission to 
the sanctuary of this new ^Esculapius, he saw, as he has since 
declared, on the countenance of this uncommunicative man a 
dignity so imposing that he felt himself penetrated with religious 
awe, and his first words were inspired by reverence. This inter- 
view, which was very short, excited more strongly than ever the 
desire of a more intimate acquaintance. At length it was obtained, 
and the crafty empiric timed his conduct and his advances so well 
that at length, without seeming to desire it, he gained the entire 
confidence of the Cardinal, and the greatest ascendency over him. 
"Your soul," said he one day to the Cardinal, "is worthy of mine ; 
and you deserve to be the confidant of all my secrets." This 
declaration captivated all the intellectual faculties and feelings of 
a man who at all times had run after the secrets of chemistry 
and botany. 

The Baron de Planta, whom the Cardinal had employed 
at the time of his embassy at Vienna, also became, about the 
period of the history of the necklace, the most intimate confidant 
of his thoughts and wishes, and was one of his most accredited 
agents with Cagliostro and Madame de Lamotte. I remember 
having heard, through a certain channel, that this Baron de Planta 


had frequent orgies, of a very expensive nature, at the Palace of 
Strasburg, where, it might be said, the tokay flowed in rivers, to 
render the repast agreeable to Cagliostro and his pretended wife : 
I thought it my duty to inform the Cardinal of the circumstance. 
His reply was, "I know it, and I have even given him liberty to 
let it run to waste, if he thinks proper." This mode of expressing 
himself left me no doubt with respect to the enthusiasm of the 
Cardinal for this empiric ; but I was far from believing that he 
had become his oracle, his guide and his compass. It was to 
him and to the Baron de Planta that the Cardinal revealed all 
that he presaged of good from his connection with Madame de 
Lamotte, and from the correspondence of which she was the 

If the Countess de Lamotte had been contented to limit 
herself to her first impositions, her stratagems in a little time 
would have been discovered, and she would have passed for an 
expert heroine in swindling ; the credulity of the Cardinal would 
have furnished matter for laughter, but it would have been a 
mere money matter, which he who was the dupe of it would 
have been interested in not revealing. But when a complete 
absence of principle is joined to a corrupt and vitiated heart, 
crimes of any blackness and villainy whatsoever are only the ordi- 
nary weapons which avarice makes use of to satisfy itself. This 
woman, so profoundly bad, encouraged by getting 20,000 livres at 
the cost only of a tissue of falsehoods and a sheet of gilt-edged paper 
with a few letters upon it, conceived a plan the hazards and dangers 
of which might have checked the most determined robber. One of 
the Queen's jewellers had in his possession a most superb diamond 
necklace, worth 1,800,000 livres. Madame de Lamotte knew that 
the Queen, who was much pleased with it, had been unwilling, under 
circumstances wherein the strictest economy became an indispensable 
duty, to propose to the King to buy it for her. Madame de Lamotte 
had an opportunity of seeing this famous necklace, and Boehmer, 
the jeweller, whose property it was, did not conceal from her that 
such an ornament being a dead article in commerce, he found it 
quite an encumbrance to him ; that,, in making the purchase of it, 
he had hoped to prevail on the Queen to buy it ; but that Her 
Majesty had refused. He added that he would make a handsome 
present to anyone who might procure him a purchaser for it. 

Madame de Lamotte had already made trial of her talents 
upon the credulity of His Eminence. She flattered herself that by 
continuing to deceive him, she might be able to appropriate both 
the necklace and the promised present to herself. It will be seen 
that she intended to persuade the Cardinal that the Queen had a 
great desire for this necklace ; that wishing to buy it unknown to 
the King, and to pay for it by instalments out of her savings, she 
wished to give the Grand Almoner a particular proof of her good- 
will, by getting him to make this bargain in her name. That for 
this purpose he would receive an order, written and signed by her 
hand, which he need not give up until the payments should be 
completed ; that he would arrange with the jeweller to give him 
receipts for the amount, at different intervals, from one quarter to 

24 — 2 


another, beginning from the first payment, which could not be made 
until the 30th of July, 1785 ; that it would be essential not to 
mention the Queen's name in that transaction, which was to be 
carried on entirely in the name of the Cardinal ; that the secret 
order signed " Marie Antoinette de France " would be quite authority 
enough ; and that in giving it the Queen bestowed on His Eminence 
a signal mark of her confidence. 

Such was the romance composed by this designing woman. 
She offered the cup of Circe to this too credulous Cardinal, and 
succeeded in persuading him to drink of it. Her deceptions having 
been hitherto so successful as to secure her from even the slightest 
suspicion or distrust, she boldly launched into her perilous career. 
The Cardinal was in Alsace. Madame de Lamotte despatched a 
courier through Baron de Planta, with a gilt-edged billet, in which 
the Queen was made to say, "The wished-for moment is not yet 
arrived, but I wish to hasten your return, on account of a secret 
negotiation which interests me personally, and which I am unwilling 
to confide to anyone except yourself. The Countess de Lamotte 
will tell you from me the meaning of this enigma." After reading 
this letter, the Cardinal longed for wings. He arrived most un- 
expectedly in a fine frost in January. His return appeared as 
extraordinary to us as his departure had been precipitate. His 
relations and friends little imagined the fatal windings of that 
labyrinth in which a woman, almost unknown, had contrived to 
involve the man whose eyes she had fascinated. 

The Cardinal had no sooner learnt the pretended solution of 
this enigma than, delighted with the commission with which his 
Sovereign had been pleased to honour him, he eagerly requested 
to have the necessary order, so that the necklace might be pro- 
cured with as little loss of time as possible. The order was not 
long delayed; it was dated from Trianon, and signed "Marie 
Antoinette de France." If the thickest web of deception had not 
blinded the eyes of the Cardinal, this signature alone, so clumsily 
imitated, might have shown him the snare which awaited him. The 
Queen never signed herself anything but " Marie Antoinette" ; the 
words " de France" were added by the grossest ignorance. No 
remark, however, was made. Cagliostro, at that time recently 
arrived in Paris, was consulted. This Python mounted his tripod ; 
the Egyptian invocations were made at night, illuminated by an 
immense number of wax tapers, in the Cardinal's own saloon. The 
oracle, under the inspiration of its familiar demon, pronounced 
' ' that the negotiation was worthy of the Prince ; that it would be 
crowned with success ; that it would raise the goodness of the Queen 
to its height, and bring to light that happy day which would unfold 
the rare talents of the Cardinal for the benefit of France and of the 
human race." I am writing facts, though it may be imagined that 
I am only relating fictions. I should think so myself, were I not 
certain of the statements that I make. Be it as it may, the advice 
of Cagliostro dissipated all the doubts which might have been 
inspired, and it was decided that the Cardinal should acquit himself, 
as promptly as possible, of a commission which was regarded as 
equally honourable and nattering. 


Everything being thus arranged, the Cardinal treated with 
Boehmer and Bassange for the necklace on the conditions proposed. 
He did not conceal from them that it was for the Queen, and he 
showed them the authority under which he acted, requiring it to 
be kept secret from all but the Queen. The jewellers must have 
believed all that the Grand Almoner told and snowed them, as they 
accepted his note, and agreed, on the 30th of January, to deliver up 
the necklace to him on the 1st of February, being the day of the 
Purification. The Countess had fixed on this day, when there was 
to be a grand fete at Versailles, as the occasion for which the Queen 
was anxious to have the superb ornament. The casket which con- 
tained this treasure was to be taken to Versailles that day, and 
carried to. the house of Madame de Lamotte, whence the Queen was 
to be supposed to send for it. This woman, intoxicated with joy at the 
amazing success of her unparalleled intrigue, had chosen her own 
residence at Versailles as the scene of the rendering up of the 
necklace to a person who should come for it, commissioned in the 
name of the Queen to carry it to her. It was in truth a complete 
piece of acting. The Cardinal, to whom the time had been specified, 
came at dusk, on the 1st of February, to the house of Madame de 
Lamotte, followed by a valet de chambre, who carried the casket. He 
sent him away when he got to the door, and alone entered the place 
where he was to be immolated to his credulity. It was an alcoved 
apartment, with a closet in it, which had a glass door. The skilful 
actress put her spectator into this closet ; the room was dimly 
lighted, adoor opens, a voice exclaims, "From the Queen." Madame 
de Lamotte advances with an air of respect, takes the casket, and 
places it in the hands of the pretended messenger. Thus the 
transfer of the necklace was made. The Cardinal, a mute and 
hidden witness of the transaction, imagined that he knew this 
envoy. Madame de Lamotte told him that it was the Queen's 
confidential valet de chambre at Trianon ; he wore the same garb 
and had much the same air. Among her different modes of de- 
ception, Madame de Lamotte had succeeded in making it appear 
that she had paid several visits at Trianon to the Queen, who had 
lavished upon her proofs of the most intimate familiarity. She 
often mentioned to the Cardinal the day on which she was to go, 
and the hour at which she was to return. His Eminence, who 
loved to feed his imagination on all that could nourish the idea 
it had taken up, often watched her setting out and coming back 
again. One night, when she knew that the Grand Almoner was 
aware of the time for her return, she got Villette, the principal 
agent in her schemes, to walk some way back with her, and after- 
wards to appear as if returning to Trianon. The Cardinal, who was 
in disguise, joined her, according to custom, and enquired who this 
person might be. She told him that it was the Queen's confidential 
valet de chambre at Trianon. At that time the necklace, so much 
courted, was neither bought nor delivered up ; but it was thus that 
the prudent magician kept laying, at proper distances, the founda- 
tion stones whereon to raise and consolidate the edifice of her 
conjurations. This pretended valet de chambre was a man of the 
name of Villette, of Bar-sur-Aube, the friend of Madame de Lamotte 


and the comrade of her husband. This woman had initiated 
him into her iniquitous practices ; he concurred in them, and ex- 
pected to have a share in the profits that might result from them. 
He possessed the pernicious talent of counterfeiting the hand of 
the august Princess. The letters which Madame de Lamotte fabri- 
cated in the name of the Queen were written by him, as was also 
the order, signed " Marie Antoinette de France," for the purchase 
of the necklace. 

The Cardinal, having scrutinised the features of the man 
into whose hands the casket was delivered, and imagining that he 
recognised in them those of the pretended valet de chambre at Trianon, 
who had accompanied Madame de Lamotte one evening on her way 
home, had no doubt of the necklace being safely conveyed to its 
place of destination. 

Thus did this intriguing woman attain her ends ; and such 
ascendency had she gained over the mind of the Cardinal that, 
from the time of the necklace being given up, His Eminence in- 
cessantly pressed the jewellers to obtain an interview of the Queen, 
in order that they might make themselves easy respecting the pur- 
chase he had negotiated for her. This fact, the truth of which has 
been proved beyond the possibility of denial, by the evidence of 
Boehmer and Bassange in court, ought to remove every doubt as 
to the sincerity of the Cardinal, and the entire persuasion he acted 
under that he was only obeying the orders of the Queen. How 
shall I conceal, in this place, a fact which I would yet willingly 
omit, but which is too essentially connected with the consequences 
of this unfortunate affair to be passed over in silence ? The 
jewellers, who had often access to the Queen on business, and 
were, moreover, pressed by the Cardinal to speak of it, took care 
not to leave her in ignorance of the negotiation and sale of the 
necklace. Notwithstanding the writing signed " Marie Antoinette 
de France," which had been shown to them ; notwithstanding the 
responsibility of the Cardinal, who had given his note for it, it 
was important to their interest to assure themselves that this 
necklace was for Her Majesty, and not to risk a thing of so 
much value on the least uncertainty. 1 This fact is not admitted 
by MM. Boehmer and Bassange in the proceedings; but they 
secretly acknowledged it to one, who revealed it to me only on 
condition that his name should in no way be brought in or compro- 
mised in the affair. The Cardinal, in his defence, appeared never 
to have any doubt on the subject. 2 Bassange, being at Bale in 1797 

1 Compare this passage with the accounts contained in the twelfth chapter 
of the Memoirs of Madame Campan. — Note by the Editor. 

2 In the Memoirs of Madame Campan it is shown in how obscure, doubtful, 
and unintelligible a manner the jeweller Boehmer explained himself the first 
time on the subject of the necklace ; and what was the surprise, the indignation 
and the wrath of the Queen when she was made to understand the odious nature 
of the intrigue in which her name was introduced. The secret disclosure was 
made, it is said, to a person who only revealed it on condition that his name should 
in no way be brought in or compromised in the affair. This disclosure, received by 
an anonymous person, can scarcely be sufficient to overthrow the regular and 
circumstantial details of Madame Campan. If the Queen only understands the 


and questioned by me on this matter, did not deny it, and formally 
confessed that his depositions, and those of his companion in this 
suit, had been regulated by the direction of the Baron de Breteuil ; 
that they had not, indeed, indiscriminately followed everything that 
had been desired of them, but that they were obliged to be silent 
on what he was not willing they should declare themselves. After 
such an assurance, how can we attempt to justify the Queen from 
a connivance little suitable either to her principles or her rank ? 

So shameless a manoeuvre as that of Madame de Lamotte, in 
which the name of the Queen was introduced only to commit with 
-still more impunity and boldness a fraud of such magnitude, ought 
to have shocked the delicacy and probity of this Princess. How 
was it. that, at this moment, her indignation did not burst forth? 
If the Queen had only followed the first dictates of her wounded 
feelings, she would surely have apprised the jewellers that they 
had been deceived, and that they must take their precautions 
accordingly. Even supposing that the Queen wished to be re- 
venged on the Cardinal and to ruin him, what had already passed, 
and what she had just heard, was more than sufficient to compel 
him to give up his place, to leave Court and to retire to his diocese. 
The Queen would have done an act of justice for which no one 
could have condemned her ; the Grand Almoner would have been 
justly blamed for his credulity ; the House of Rohan would have 
been grieved at his disgrace, but could not have opposed it ; there 
would have been no shameful publicity, no criminal suit, no Bas- 
tille. Marie Antoinette, if left to her own inclinations, would surely 
have acted with this sincerity ; but she suffered herself to be 
influenced by two men, who equally led her astray, though each 
from different motives. 

[The Abbe Georgel here flatters himself that he proves the 
Queen to have consulted the Abbe de Vermond and the Baron de 
Breteuil (which is true), and that they suffered the Cardinal to fall 
more and more deeply into the snare, and continued him in his 
error, to ruin him entirely (which is false, as is proved by the 
Memoirs of Madame Campan). She left Versailles on the ist of 
August ; on the 3rd, Boehmer went to see her at her country house. 
It was not until the 6th or 7th that the Queen was certainly in- 
formed of the matter, and on the 15th the Cardinal was arrested. 
Are any of the perfidious delays imagined by the Abbe Georgel to 
be formed in this rapid progress of things ? This remark on our 
part is solely prompted by a love of truth, and not by any desire to 
save the Queen from the reproach of dissimulation, which, after 
all, does not attach to her, as Georgel only accuses the Abbe de 
Vermond and the Baron de Breteuil of these preconcerted delays. 
The denouement of this scandalous business was hastened by another 

former declarations of Boehmer from a tardy and unexpected communication ; 
if her resentment bursts out immediately on her acquaintance with it ; what 
becomes of the supposition made by the Abbe Georgel, of a plan, conducted with 
coolness and deliberation, and for a considerable period, to lead the Cardinal 
deeper and deeper into the snare, to surprise him and to destroy him? — Note 
by the Editor. 



As it wanted not more than six or seven weeks to the 30th of 
July, the day fixed upon for the first payment of 100,000 crowns 
by the Cardinal, whose presence was necessary for the payment, he 
was summoned in the course of the month of Tune. He came with 
the eagerness of a man who believes himself on the point of ob- 
taining the end of his wishes. He was assured, in a little billet, 
that everything was arranged for the accomplishment of his desire, 
and that he would now see the effect of the Queen's promises ; it 
was adroitly added that measures were being taken for making up the 
sum for the first payment ; that some unforeseen events had thrown 
obstacles in the way of so doing, but that it was hoped, neverthe- 
less, that no delay would occur. 

The ensuing assemblies at Cagliostro's, in the meantime, were 
delightful ; all was a joyful anticipation of the happy day when the 
Queen was to crown the good fortune of the Grand Almoner. 
Madame de Lamotte alone was in possession of a secret of a con- 
trary nature. Saint-James, a proselyte of Cagliostro's, was admitted- 
into those evening parties by the advice of this woman, for which 
she had her own reasons. She one day said to the Cardinal, " I 
see the Queen is greatly perplexed about this 100,000 crowns for 
the 30th of July. She does not write to you for fear of making you 
uneasy concerning it ; but I have thought of a way for you to pay 
your court to her by setting her at ease. "Write to Saint-James ; 
100,000 crowns will appear nothing to him when he is given to 
understand that it is to render the Queen a service. Profit by the 
enthusiasm which the attention that you and Count Cagliostro 
lavish upon him have inspired. The Queen will not discountenance 
it; speak in her name. The success of this new negotiation can 
only add to the interest she already takes in you.' The Cardinal 
thanked Madame de Lamotte for her good advice. He then thought 
to secure the goodwill of Saint-James by relating to him, with an 
air of confidence, all that had passed regarding the purchase of the 
necklace. He showed him the order signed " Marie Antoinette de 
France " ; he likewise confided to him the Queen's embarrassment, 
and assured him that an infallible way to merit her protection would 
be to take upon himself the making of the first payment to the 
jeweller. Saint-James, like all upstarts, was more anxious for con- 
sequence than for money ; he had wished to obtain the cordon rouge 
by some place or office, but he had not been able to succeed. The 
Cardinal promised it him, in the name of the Queen, as a recom- 
pense for the service she asked him. The financier replied, " that 
he looked upon himself as extremely fortunate in being able to give 
Her Majesty proofs of his unbounded devotion to her, and that, as 
soon as he should be honoured with her orders she might make 
herself perfectly easy with respect to the 100,000 crowns for the 
first payment." The Grand Almoner informed Madame de Lamotte 
of the favourable answer of Saint-James, and likewise gave an 
account of it in the first letter which he sent to the Queen through 
her hands. The forger who framed the answers was absent. M. 
de Lamotte had returned from London and had sent for him to 
Bar-sur-Aube, where these skilful sharpers concerted together the 
precautions that it was necessary to adopt in order to establish 


their fortunes out of the spoil of the necklace. The delay of the 
anxiously-expected answer from the Queen tormented the Cardinal. 
He communicated his uneasiness to Madame de Lamotte ; he could 
not conceive the motive for maintaining this silence as the time 
for payment approached. He feared, moreover, that Saint-James 
might suspect him of a design to impose upon him ; he added, with 
infinite chagrin, that what he still less comprehended was the un- 
abating coldness of the Queen towards him outwardly, in spite of 
the warm and lively interest breathed for him in her letters. This 
last observation was a subject of daily complaint with the Cardinal 
after his return from Alsace. Till then Madame de Lamotte had 
always been able to calm, by different stratagems, these suggestions 
of anxiety. The diabolical genius of this woman, fruitful in ex- 
pedients, undertook to put an end at once to these doubts, so 
perpetually renewing. She bethought her of a new method of still 
further abusing the Cardinal's credulity, by which she hoped to 
make him exert himself to the utmost to complete the first payment 
for the necklace, either by himself, or through M. de Saint-James. 
This fresh villainy required preliminaries and preparations. Mean- 
while the forger Villette returned from Bar-sur-Aube, and the 
long-expected answer from Marie Antoinette was immediately put 
into the hands of the Cardinal. The Queen, it was said in the 
letter, would not so long have delayed her reply had she not hoped 
to have been able to dispense with the good offices of M. de Saint- 
James ; that she would accept them for the first payment only, 
with the promise of a speedy reimbursement to him, adding, that 
she should wish M. de Saint-James to furnish her with an early 
opportunity of showing her sense of his services. Some days 
elapsed before the Cardinal could communicate this answer to 
Saint-James. In the interval, Madame de Lamotte, in concert with 
her husband and Villette, had arranged everything for the perform- 
ance of a farce, the plan and execution of which displayed the most 
diabolical invention. She undertook to make the Cardinal believe 
that the Queen, not being able to give him the public proofs of her 
esteem which she could wish, would grant him an interview in the 
groves of Versailles between eleven and twelve o'clock, and that 
she could then assure him of that restoration to her favour which 
she was not at liberty to write. These happy tidings were effec- 
tually conveyed in a little gilt-edged note ; it appointed the night 
and hour for meeting ; never was interview more eagerly anti- 

The Countess de Lamotte had remarked in the promenades 
of the Palais Royal at Paris a girl of a very fine figure, whose 
profile was extremely like the Queen's, and her she fixed on as 
principal actress in the grove. Her name was d'Oliva, and she 
had been made to believe that the part she undertook to perform 
was at the desire of the Queen, who had some plan of amusement 
in it. The reward offered on this occasion was not refused by a 
creature who made a traffic of her charms, and she undertook to 
act the part assigned her. 

Mademoiselle d'Oliva accordingly proceeded to Versailles, 
conducted by M. de Lamotte, in a hired carriage, the coachman 


belonging to which has been examined in evidence. She was led 
to inspect the scene of action to which she was to be secretly con- 
veyed by M. de Lamotte. There she was made to rehearse the 
part she was expected to perform. She was given to understand 
that she would be accosted by a tall man in a blue riding-coat, with 
a large flat hat, who would approach and kiss her hand with the 
utmost respect ; and that she was to say to him, in a low tone 
of voice, " I have but a moment to spare ; I am satisfied with your 
conduct, and I shall speedily raise you to the pinnacle of favour " ; 
that she was then to present him with a small box and a rose, and 
immediately afterwards, at the noise of persons who should ap- 
proach, to observe, still in a low voice, " Madame and Madame 
d'Artois are coming ; we must separate." The grove and the place 
of entrance agreed on had been also pointed out to the Cardinal, 
with the assurance that he might in that place pour out without 
restraint his sentiments of loyal devotion, and explain his feelings 
in what most concerned his interests ; and that, as a pledge of her 
good intentions towards him, the Queen would present him with a 
case containing her portrait, and a rose. It was well known at 
Versailles that the Queen was in the habit of walking in the 
evening with Madame and the Countess d'Artois in the grove. 
The appointed night arrived : the Cardinal, dressed as agreed on, 
repaired to the terrace of the chateau with the Baron de Planta ; 
the Countess de Lamotte, in a black domino, was to come and let 
him know the precise time when the Queen was to enter the grove. 
The evening was sufficiently dark ; the appointed hour glided away ; 
Madame de Lamotte did not appear ; the Cardinal became anxious ; 
when the lady in the black domino came to meet him, saying, " I 
have just left the Queen — everything is unfavourable — she will not 
be able to give you so long an interview as she desired. Madame 
and the Countess d Artois have proposed to walk with her. Hasten 
to the grove ; she will leave her party, and, in spite of the short 
interval she may obtain, will give you unequivocal proofs of her 
protection and goodwill." The Cardinal hastened to the appointed 
scene, and Madame de Lamotte and the Baron de Planta retired to 
await his return. The scene was played as it had been arranged 
by Madame de Lamotte ; the pretended Queen, in an evening 
deshabille, bore a striking resemblance in figure and dress to the 
personage she was to represent. The Cardinal in approaching her 
testified emotion and respect ; the false Queen, in a low voice, 
pronounced the words that had been dictated to her, and presented 
the box ; in the meantime, as had been agreed, the noise as of per- 
sons approaching was made, and it became necessary to part some- 
what abruptly. The Cardinal went to rejoin Madame de Lamotte 
and the Baron de Planta ; he complained bitterly of the vexatious 
interruption which had shortened an interview so interesting and 
delightful for him. They then separated. The Cardinal appeared 
fully persuaded that he had spoken with the Queen, and had 
received the box from her hands. Madame de Lamotte congratu- 
lated herself on the success of her scheme. Mademoiselle d'Oliva, 
interested in keeping the part she had played secret, was conveyed 
back to Paris and well rewarded for her address. M. de Lamotte 


and M. Villette.who had counterfeited the voices and the approach- 
ing footsteps agreed on to abridge the interview, joined Madame de 
Lamotte, and everyone rejoiced at the successful issue. The next 
day a little billet, brought by the ordinary messenger, expressed 
great regret at the obstacles which had prevented a longer con- 

Whatever the illusion might be that had so constantly blinded 
the Cardinal, the unimpassioned reader will scarcely believe that a 
Prince endowed with so much intelligence and good sense never 
entertained, for more than a year that this system of intrigue lasted, 
the slightest suspicion of the snare that was laid for him ; and if it 
did enter his mind, why did he not put every method in force 
to throw a light on the behaviour and steps of his conductress? 
The Queen still evincing a perfect estrangement towards the Car- 
dinal, how could he possibly reconcile this mode of treatment 
with the sentiments which were contained in the little billets he 
received, wherein the most unequivocal protection and the greatest 
interest and kindness were expressed ? 

This inconceivable contrast ought at least to have been the 
dawn of the day which should throw a light on the diabolical 
scheme to which he was a victim. The Cardinal acknowledges 
that, impelled by a boundless desire to be restored to the favour of 
the Queen, he always rushed with impetuosity towards the object 
that promised to effect his purpose, without considering the nature 
of the path he was made to tread. However that might be, the 
adventure of the grove, and the little billet the next morning, had 
given new energy to the zeal which entirely engrossed him for the 
interests and tranquillity of the Queen, whom he believed to be 
embarrassed respecting the first payment for the necklace. The 
return of the financier Saint-James hastened, without the Cardinal's 
expecting it, the denouement of the intrigue which was about to 
involve him in endless disgrace and vexation. The Cardinal having 
met with this financier at Cagliostro's, did not fail to communicate 
to him the new orders which he imagined he had received. 

[It would be needless to prolong this extract already sufficiently 
extended. The latter scenes and the catastrophe of this piece are 
well known ; but we had to fulfil our promise, in page 2, to make 
our readers acquainted with the principal actors in this drama, who 
were left unnoticed by Madame Campan. We ought, nevertheless, 
before we finish, to make mention of one individual to whom the 
Cardinal, always the dupe of error, at length owed the discovery of 
the means which had been put in practice to fascinate his eyes as 
well as to deceive his judgment.] 

" A certain Abbe de Juncker, a sensible and well-informed man, 
came," says the Abbe Georgel, " to offer his services. I felt a con- 
dence in him because he seemed anxious for the honour and interest 
of the Cardinal. He it was who gave me the first idea through 
which the diabolical intrigue of Madame de Lamotte came to be 
unmasked. A monk called Father Loth had come to inform him 
that, urged by his conscience and by gratitude to the Grand 
Almoner for services he had rendered him, he was anxious to make 
the most important disclosures ; that having lived on intimate terms 


with Madame de Lamotte he could no longer be silent. This man 
was proctor to the monks at La Place Royale, which the house 
of Madame de Lamotte adjoined. This woman had found means to 
inspire him with pity in her moments of want and distress. He 
often relieved her ; and his kindness had at length induced her to 
communicate to him the particulars of her good fortune, which she 
attributed to the Queen and to the Cardinal. Being soon on terms 
of great intimacy, Father Loth saw at the house of Madame de 
Lamotte many things that excited his suspicions. 

" A few words which her vanity and indiscretion had let fall ; 
the boast of a considerable present from the Court jewellers, on 
account of her expecting to procure them a purchaser for their 
valuable necklace ; the display of some superb diamonds, which she 
pretended to have had from Marie Antoinette ; the communication 
of billets, which she declared to be from the Queen to the Cardinal, 
and from the Cardinal to the Queen ; the comparison which Father 
Loth had taken the trouble to make between the writing of these 
billets and other writings of one M. de Villette, the friend of 
Madame de Lamotte, who was often shut up writing with her and 
her husband ; the compliments which he had heard Madame de 
Lamotte pay a tall, beautiful woman of the name of d'Oliva. 
respecting the success of some part she had played in the garden of 
Versailles ; the perplexities which had spread confusion and alarm 
throughout the house of this intriguing woman, in the early part of 
August ; the declaration made in his presence that Boehmer and 
Bassange would be the ruin of the Cardinal ; the precipitate flight 
of Villette, and of M. and Madame de Lamotte, at that period — 
such were the details which Father Loth came to confide to me one 
evening between eleven and twelve, after disguising himself at the 
house of the Abbe de Juncker, in order that he might not be sus- 
pected, should his judicial deposition be found necessary. This monk, 
wishing to have the title of preacher to the King in his Order, had 
requested to preach the sermon of Pentecost before His Majesty. 
The Grand Almoner had spoken to me, to examine his discourse 
and his delivery. I was not satisfied with it, and I gave it as my 
opinion that he should not preach ; but I was not aware that 
Madame de Lamotte, who protected him, was desirous that this 
favour should be granted him, and that the Cardinal, yielding to 
the entreaties of this patroness, had procured Father Loth a well- 
written sermon, which he delivered with tolerable propriety. 

" Amongst the particulars which I have just related, Father 
Loth, during the three hours' conversation I had with him, gave 
much important information respecting M. de Villette ; and some 
fragments of the writings of this M. de Villette, which, he assured 
me, greatly resembled that of the pretended billets from the Queen. 
He assured me also that he had surprised Madame de Lamotte, 
the evening before her departure, burning those that she had told 
him were from the Queen. The monk, in speaking to me of this 
Mademoiselle d'Oliva, recollected the time when she was taken by 
M. de Lamotte to Versailles in a hired carriage ; in short, he added, 
in such a manner as led me to suspect that he did not tell me all he 
knew, that he had strong reasons for believing that the Countess de 


Lamotte had imposed on the credulity of the Cardinal to obtain 
very considerable sums from him, and even to appropriate the 
necklace to herself. This important communication did not yet 
amount to certainty; but it was like the first blush of morn, which, 
dissipating the thick clouds of night, announces the brightness of a 
fine day." (" Memoirs of the Abbe Georgel," vol. ii.) 

We shall now borrow from another work the details relative to 
the trial : 

The Cardinal was closely guarded in his apartments at 
Versailles. He was brought to his hotel in Paris in the afternoon, 
and remained there until the next day. The carriage was escorted 
by body-guards, and M. d'Agoult, aide-major-general, had orders 
not to lose sight of the prisoner, and to sleep in the same room with 

On the evening of this transaction the Marquis de Launay, 
Governor of the Bastille, came to lodge His Eminence in the same 
prison, where several victims of ministerial despotism were groaning. 
The Cardinal wished to go thither on foot, under cover of the night ; 
the favour was readily granted. On the following day, August 17th, 
he was sent in a carriage to the Cardinal's palace, to be present at 
the breaking of the seals, at which all the ministers assisted, except 
Marshal Segur. M. de Rohan, looking on M. de Breteuil as his 
personal enemy, had required this formality ; and the Baron de 
Breteuil had complied the more willingly as he had declared that 
his own sense of delicacy would not permit him to acquit himself of 
his ministerial duty in any manner other than publicly, and in the 
presence of respectable witnesses. 

Doubtless, no proofs appeared of the secret crimes ascribed to 
the Cardinal, since nothing of that kind transpired, and no trace of 
it is to be found in the proceedings. The Cardinal had permission 
to see his friends in the hall of the Bastille. He was allowed to 
retain, out of all his numerous retinue, two valets de chambre and a 
secretary ; this last favour showed him that he was to have the 
privilege of writing, at least for the purposes of his defence. He was 
treated in every other respect with much consideration, and his 
situation was rendered as tolerable as it could be in such a fortress. 

This lenient treatment contributed greatly to the courage and 
resignation which the Cardinal almost invariably displayed. 

The Abbe Georgel, grand vicar to the Grand Almoner, on 
whose papers seals were likewise put, testified as little uneasiness as 
the Cardinal. "Authority must be respected," said he; "but we 
may, nevertheless, enlighten it." 

Madame de Lamotte, wishing to gratify at once her hatred 
and revenge, declared on her first examination that the Count de 
Cagliostro was the contriver of the fraud of the necklace ; that he 
had persuaded the Cardinal to purchase it. She insinuated that it 
was taken to pieces by this Italian or Sicilian Count and his wife, 
and that they alone reaped the profit of it. This declaration, 
supported by a thousand other falsehoods, which, unfortunately, 
however absurd, wore but too great an appearance of probability, 
caused the singular personage implicated in it to be sent to the 
Bastille, along with the woman who resided with him. The latter 


remained there nearly eight months, and the pretended Count did 
not come out until after the suit was decided. 

It is certain that Cardinal de Rohan was credulous enough to 
place the greatest confidence in this empirical alchemist, who had 
assured him that it was possible to make gold and to transmute 
small diamonds into large precious stones ; but he only cheated the 
Cardinal out of large sums, under pretence of revealing to him the 
rarest secrets of the Rosicrucians and other madmen, who have 
implicitly believed, or pretended to believe, the absurd folly of the 
philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, &c. Thus the Cardinal saw 
part of his money evaporate in the smoke of crucibles, and part 
found its way into the pockets of the sharper, who passed himself 
off to him as a great alchemist. 

When this person was examined by the court touching the 
affair of the necklace, he made his appearance before the magis- 
trates dressed in green, embroidered with gold ; his locks were 
curled from the top of his head, and fell in little tails down his 
shoulders, which gave him a most singular appearance, and com- 
pleted his resemblance to a mountebank. " Who are you ? Whence 
came you?" he was asked. " I am a noble traveller," was his reply. 
At these words, every countenance relaxed, and seeing this appear- 
ance of good-humour, the accused entered boldly on his defence. 
He interlarded his jargon with Greek, Arabic, Latin and Italian ; 
his looks, his gestures, his vivacity, were as amusing as his speech. 
He withdrew, very well pleased with having made his judges laugh. 

The Cardinal had sometimes permission to walk after dinner 
upon the platform of the towers of the Bastille, accompanied by an 
officer. He wore a brown great-coat with a round hat. The Court 
issued a decree to detain the persons of the Cardinal and the other 
parties. The fraud of the necklace was not the motive which 
determined this decree against the Cardinal de Rohan, but the 
forgery of the Queen's signature. It was concluded that, as soon 
as the true author of the forgery was discovered, all the rigour of 
the sentence would fall on him. On the 21st of December this 
decree, more frightful in imagination than really formidable, was 
made known to the Cardinal. He was so much affected by it that 
he suffered an attack of nephritic colic, to which he was subject. 

The examinations were vigorously pursued. The commis- 
sioner, a councillor of Parliament, 1 repaired for this purpose to the 
fortress of the Bastille. On one occasion he detained the Cardinal 
from nine in the morning until one o'clock, and afterwards from 
four till midnight. It is necessary to state the etiquette observed 
by Prince Louis de Rohan, and that observed towards him on these 
days of sitting. On the appointed day he put on his State dress, 
his red hood, red stockings, and all the insignia of his dignity. The 
governor of the Bastille came to lead him from his apartment, 
conducted him to the door of the council chamber, left him with 
the magistrate and other official persons, and remained in attend- 
ance in the ante-chamber. When the judge wanted anything he 

1 M. Depuis de Mac£. 


rang. The Marquis de Launay immediately presented himself ; 
and if a glass of water or anything else was asked for, he carried 
it himself to the door, where the magistrate came to meet him. 
After the sitting, the governor took charge of his prisoner at the 
very door of the council chamber, and conducted him back to his 

It has been pretended that the all-powerful family of the 
Cardinal had so suborned the judge and the notary, that they 
altered the sense of the depositions and examinations, and that 
when they were fearful of the Cardinal involving himself in his 
replies, and saying something that would militate against his cause, 
they suddenly broke up the sitting, without even waiting for the 
conclusion of a sentence already begun. 

The following extract, from the voluminous Memoirs of 
Madame de Lamotte, may be brought in support of the assertion. 
We quote her own words : " One day, the Cardinal and I, being 
confronted upon a delicate point, which neither of us had any 
intention to throw light upon, I said something not exactly con- 
formable to truth. "Ah, madam," cried the Cardinal, " how can 
you advance what you know to be false?" "As everyone else 
does, sir. You know very well that neither you nor I have told a 
single word of truth to these gentlemen since they have begun to 
interrogate us." " It was not, in fact, possible," said this woman, 
whose testimony ought to be estimated at its proper value ; " our 
answers were prepared for us, as well as our questions, and we were 
obliged to say or reply this or that, or expect to be murdered in the 

The deposition of the Countess du Barry forms an interesting 
anecdote in this curious affair. She came into Court in the even- 
ing of the 7th of December, where she was received with all the 
honours due to persons of the first quality. The notary went to 
hand her in, and one of the ushers carried the torch. She was 
conducted back again with the same respectful formalities. Her 
deposition turned on the following circumstances. Madame de 
Lamotte called one day, after the death of Louis XV., on the 
Countess du Barry, to offer her services as a companion. 

When she declared her name and birth, Madame du Barry 
regarded her as unfit for the situation she came to solicit, and, 
thanking her, assured her that she did not wish for society, and 
that, moreover, she was not such a great lady herself as to take a 
lady of Madame de Valois' elevated rank for her companion. The 
latter was not quite disheartened by this polite repulse. She went 
again some days after ; but she limited herself to begging that 
Madame du Barry would recommend her to some persons who 
might lay one of her petitions before the King. In this petition 
she entreated an augmentation of her pension. She had signed the 
words de France after her name. The Countess du Barry could 
not help showing her surprise at the sight of the signature. 
Madame de Lamotte replied to her remark, that as she was known 
to belong to the House of Valois, she always signed herself de 
France. Madame du Barry smiled at her presumption, and pro- 
mised to get the petition recommended. 


As long as the Countess de Lamotte saw none of her accom- 
plices arrested, she flattered herself that the Cardinal and Cagliostro 
would be the victims of her fraud. But Mademoiselle d'Oliva, the 
principal actress in the park scene, being taken at Brussels, where 
she had sought refuge, began to draw aside the veil with which the 
Countess had hitherto covered her intrigues. 

To crown her misfortunes, and insure her the punishment she 
deserved, Retaux de Villette suffered himself to be taken at Geneva. 
He was conveyed to the Bastille and confronted with the perfidious 
De Lamotte, who was struck as by a thunderbolt at the unexpected 
sight. She was now convinced that she was lost, notwithstanding 
her natural effrontery. 

The prisoners who were detained in the Bastille on account of 
the necklace were transferred to the Conciergerie about midnight 
on the 29th of August, 1786, by an officer of the Court. The 
Cardinal was confined under the guard of the King's lieutenant of 
the Bastille, in the chambers of the chief notary. So true it is that 
the justice of that day had the most profound respect for birth 
and titles. 

The examinations lasted from six in the morning until half- 
past four in the afternoon. 

When Madame de Lamotte appeared before the assembled 
Grand Council she was elegantly dressed, as she had been all the 
time she was in prison. This audacious woman, being sent for by 
the judges, often repeated that " she was going to confound a great 
rogue." At the sight of the august assembly her confidence some- 
what abandoned her ; above all, when the usher said to her, in a 
severe tone, pointing out the stool for the accused, " Madam, seat 
yourself there," she started back in affright ; but on the order 
being given a second time, she took the ill-omened seat, and in 
less than two minutes she recovered herself so well, and her 
countenance was so composed, that she appeared as if reclining 
in her own room upon the most elegant sofa. 

She replied with firmness to all the questions of the first presi- 
dent. Being interrogated afterwards by the Abbe Sabathier, one 
of the ecclesiastical councillors whom she knew to be unfavourable 
to her, " That is a very insidious question," said she ; " I expected 
you would put it to me, and I shall now reply to it." After extri- 
cating herself with sufficient address from many other questions, 
she made a long speech with so much presence of mind and energy 
that she at least astonished her judges, if she could not succeed in 
interesting or convincing them. As soon as she had retired, the 
first president ordered the stool to be removed, and sent to inform 
the Cardinal that the stool having been taken out of the chamber he might 
present himself before the Court. 

The Cardinal was habited in a long violet-coloured robe 
(which colour is mourning for Cardinals) ; he wore his red hood 
and stockings, and was decorated with his Orders. It would seem 
that, whether innocent or not, his courage forsook him in the trying 
moment of his standing forth accused. His emotion was evident ; 
he was extremely pale and his knees bent under him ; five or six 
voices, probably proceeding from members gained over to his side, 


observed that the Cardinal appeared to be ill, and that he ought to 
be allowed to sit, to which d'Aligre, the first president, replied, " His 
Eminence the Cardinal is at liberty to sit down if he wishes it." 
The illustrious accused profited by this permission, and seated him- 
self at the end of the bench where the examiners sit when they 
attend the grand chamber. Having soon recovered himself, he 
replied extremely well to the questions of the first president ; 
afterwards, still remaining seated, he spoke with abundance of 
feeling for about half an hour, with emphasis and dignity, and 
repeated his protestations respecting the whole proceedings against 
him. His speech being finished, he bowed to the bench and the 
other magistrates. Everyone returned his salute, and those on the 
bench even got up, which was a peculiar mark of distinction. 

Mademoiselle d'Oliva was afterwards summoned ; the usher 
of the court came to say that as she was aware she should be 
obliged to be separated from her infant for some hours, she was 
that instant engaged in suckling it, and prayed the court to grant 
her a moment's delay. The voice of law was silent before that of 
nature, and it was agreed that she should be waited for. 

Only the Cardinal and Cagliostro returned to the Bastille. 
M. de Rohan had in his coach the governor and an officer of the 
ministerial prison. The Marquis de Launay gave the order to set 
off, and said a V hotel instead of using the word Bastille. 

On the 31st, the day fixed for the final decision of this 
singular and famous trial, after more than a year of proceedings 
and delays, the judges met at a quarter before six in the morning. 
They were sixty-two in number, but were reduced to forty-nine by 
the retiring of the ecclesiastical councillors on account of its being 
a question which involved corporal punishment. 

At two o'clock the voting magistrates left off to take their 
dinner at a table with forty covers that the chief president had 
ordered to be prepared in the hall of St. Louis ; but the greater 
part dined without sitting down, and at half-past three the court 
resumed its session. 

At length, a little after nine in the evening, the decision of 
the court was made known, as follows : 

1st. The instrument, which is the foundation of the suit, with 
the approvals and annexed signatures, are declared forgeries and 
falsely attributed to the Queen. 

2nd. De Lamotte, being in contumacy, is condemned to the 
galleys for life. 

3rd. Madame de Lamotte to be whipped, branded on the two 
shoulders with the letter V., and shut up in l'Hopital for life 

4th. Retaux de Villette banished the kingdom for life. 

5th. Mademoiselle d'Oliva discharged. 

6th. Cagliostro acquitted. 

7th. The Cardinal acquitted of all suspicion. The injurious 
accusations against him contained in the memorial of Madame de 
Lamotte suppressed. 

8th. The Cardinal is allowed to cause the judgment of the 
court to be printed. 

VOL. II 25 


The next day the court received an order for delay of 
execution. The Court of Versailles was much displeased with 
the sentence ; it had hoped that the Cardinal would have been 
declared guilty, and the sentence passed on the Countess de 
Lamotte much less severe. It was likewise observed that the 
court had proceeded with so much severity against this female, 
a descendant from the House of Valois, in order to mortify, to the 
utmost of their power, the reigning branch of the Bourbons. The 
King was desirous to inspect all the writings belonging to the suit, 
but they only sent him copies of them. 

The court, after a few days' delay, was allowed to execute its 
sentence with respect to the Countess de Lamotte, then in prison. 
She was informed one morning that her presence was required at 
the palace. Surprised at this intelligence (for she had for some 
time been refused permission to speak to anyone), she replied that 
she had passed a restless night, and desired to be left quiet. The 
gaoler replied that her counsel was waiting. " I can see him, then, 
to-day ? " she asked, and immediately rose, slipped on a loose robe, 
and followed. Being brought before her judge, the clerk pronounced 
her sentence ; immediately astonishment, fear, rage and despair per- 
vaded her whole soul, and threw her into agitations difficult to 
describe. She had not strength to hear the whole of the speech 
addressed to her ; she threw herself on the ground, and uttered 
the most violent shrieks. It was with the greatest difficulty that 
she could be removed into the palace-yard. It was scarcely six in 
the morning, and but few persons were present to witness the 
execution of her sentence. 

No sooner did the Countess perceive the instruments of her 
punishment than she seized one of the executioners by the collar, 
and bit his hand in such a manner as to take a piece out ; fell upon 
the ground, and suffered more violent convulsions than ever. It 
was necessary to tear off her clothes to imprint the hot iron upon 
her shoulders as well as they could. Her cries and imprecations 
redoubled ; at length they took her into a coach, and conveyed her 
to l'Hopital. 

Madame de Lamotte found means to escape from l'Hopital 
after ten months' confinement, which was effected either through 
her having gained over some sister of the house, or through the 
connivance of the Government. This last opinion may be correct, 
if it be true that her flight was permitted on condition that M. de 
Lamotte should not publish in London his account of the trial, 
which, it is said, he threatened to do unless his wife should be 
restored to him. 

However that may be, a pun was made when Madame de 
Lamotte suddenly disappeared, which shows that no better conduct 
was expected of her than her life had hitherto displayed. It is said 
that the sister, who contrived her escape, said to her at parting : 
"Adieu, madam; take care you are not remarked. " — ("Anecdotes 
of the Reign of Louis XVI.," vol. i. [We must add that the in- 
ventor of this story must have had a great rage for miserable puns 
to make one on such a subject.] 


Note (£), Page 19. 

The clergy then assembled embraced this opportunity to 
assert its rights. The Archbishop of Narbonne delivered a speech 
before the Assembly, which contained the following passages : 

"My Lords and Gentlemen — No one among us is unaware 
of the misfortune that the Cardinal de Rohan has had, to incur 
the displeasure of the King. Without doubt, we have reason to 
fear that his guilt has been great, since His Majesty has thought 
proper to arrest him in a public manner, to secure his person and 
his papers. Of whatever nature his crime may be, we do not hesi- 
tate to say beforehand that we regard it with abhorrence. But the 
Cardinal de Rohan is both a Cardinal and a Grand Almoner, as 
well as Bishop of the Empire. This latter title, which is common 
to ourselves and to him, imposes on us the obligation to claim the 
observance of the law and regulations which prescribe that a 
bishop must be tried by those of his own rank. God forbid that 
by so doing we should pretend to render our order exempt from 
punishment and seduce it from the obedience due to the King ! 

" We profess and we teach that the power of our Kings is 
independent. We firmly maintain that our consecration to the 
service of the altar transfers to no other earthly potentate the 
allegiance imposed on us at our birth. It is far from our intention 
to claim privileges which may be incompatible with these funda- 
mental truths ; we confidently demand those which the laws, our 
monarchs and the nation have transmitted to us. We shall find 
them in the same source from which those of the peers, the nobility 
and the officers of Court are derived." 

According to the principles contained in this harangue, the 
clergy composed a memorial and wrote an eloquent letter to the 
King, in which were the following passages : 

"To a reverence for religion we owe the privileges accorded 
to its ministers ; that of personal immunity, granted to the bishops 
in cases of trial, has been found conformable to the principles of 
the French ; that every accused person should be judged by his 
peers. Are any alarming results expected from our exercise of 
this right ? We are averse from establishing among the members 
of our body either the idea of impunity or that of independence." 

Note (C), Page 24. 

M. de Vergennes found himself surrounded and watched by 
two parties in opposition to his principles and operations, who con- 
tinually endeavoured to prevent his assuming the tone necessary 
for the Department of Foreign Affairs. Richelieu and D'Aiguillon's 
party, though humbled by the fall of the latter and by the return 
of the Parliament, was still powerful at Court. This party dis- 
approved of the quietism of M. de Vergennes, and pursued the 
minister with ridicule, sarcasm and the most atrocious accusations. 
Whatever might be the conduct of the minister, he perpetually saw 
before him one and frequently two parties who disapproved his 
measures ; sometimes he was attacked on all sides, whilst through- 



out Europe there was not one of his treaties, nor one of his negotia- 
tions or plans, that was not opposed by some powerful interest, as 
generally happens in the political operations of a State so powerful 
as that of France. 

In this situation M. de Vergennes found himself obliged to 
treat with every system, and to manoeuvre with every party, to 
avoid a Continental war ; and, above all — the precipice towards 
which almost every minister is hurried when he declares war, or 
suffers it to be declared — M. de Vergennes adhered tenaciously 
to his place. It was said he has made a vow to die minister. It 
was the principal fault in his administration. Had he possessed 
more decision of character, M. de Vergennes would have imitated 
the policy of Richelieu, and declared war upon Austria on the 
first insult she might indulge in, as she had ventured to do in the 
affairs of Cologne, Bavaria and the Scheldt. But the courage of 
M. de Vergennes was not equal to embarking on so stormy a sea. 

Note (D), Page 27. 

Ever since 1752 M. de Lomenie had resolved to distinguish 
himself — not, however, by science, or by that piety and reserve 
appropriate to his profession, but by the boldness and novelty of 
his opinions. Philosophy was yet in its dawn when he rendered 
himself conspicuous by the celebrated dispute he maintained in the 
Sorbonne, less as a theologian than as a materialist. He rejected the 
innate idea or knowledge of a Divinity ; he ridiculed the doctrines of 
a Providence ; he advanced opinions favourable to the Jesuits and to 
the Pope's bull Unigenitus, and asserted that M. de Fenelon had trium- 
phantly refuted the doctrine of Port Royal. In this manner M. de 
Lomenie, from his earliest youth, had indulged in a mixture of 
materialism and Jesuitism, which at the same time procured him 
the support of two able and opposite parties ; so that his ambition 
promised one time or other to be rewarded, whatever might be the 
success of the contests then prevalent in France between the phi- 
losophers and the Jesuits, equally inimical to Jansenism. If the 
Jesuits were overcome by the philosophers, the Abbe de Lomenie 
would be found in the list of the latter ; if the philosophers yielded 
to the Jesuits, the Abbe de Lomenie had already combated the 
opinions of the Jansenists, and would be found to merit the atten- 
tion of their adversaries ; he was neither deficient in foresight nor 
in address. (" Memoirs of the Reign of Louis XVI.," vol. vi.) 

Note (E), Page 67. 

An extract from the strange proceeding of the Chatelet was 
forwarded to England under the idea that it would give rise to an 
apprehension in the mind of the Duke d'Orleans of persecutions 
similar to what were formerly dreaded ; but, confident in his inno- 
cence, it proved the cause of his return. At last, to intimidate him, 
they suborned a nobleman of the Royalist or Ministerial party, at 
Dieppe, who had the audacity to say publicly that the Duke 
d'Orleans ought to be hanged. 


The Prince heard of it, but did not recede, as was expected. 

The day after his arrival at Paris, he presented himself 
before the National Assembly, where he was greeted with consider- 
able applause. He there delivered an apology for his conduct, and 
was listened to with interest. 

Not content with this frank and honourable proceeding, he 
published a paper entitled "An Exposition of the Conduct of the 
Duke d'Orleans in the French Revolution, drawn up by himself at 
London." This memoir, replete with explanation and reason, 
sufficed to convince the most incredulous. (" Anecdotes of the 
Reign of Louis XVI.") 

Note (F), Page 70. 

The King did not leave Versailles till one o'clock. The 
Queen, the Dauphin, Madame Royale, Monsieur, Madame Eliza- 
beth and Madame de Tourzel were in His Majesty's carriage. The 
hundred deputies in their carriages came next. A detachment of 
brigands, bearing the heads of the two body-guards in triumph, 
formed the advanced guard, and set out two hours earlier. These 
cannibals stopped a moment at Sevres, and carried their cruelty to 
the length of forcing an unfortunate hairdresser to dress the gory 
heads. The bulk of the Parisian army followed them closely. The 
King's carriage was preceded by the poissardes, who had arrived the 
day before from Paris, and a whole rabble of prostitutes, the vile 
refuse of their sex, still drunk with fury and wine. Several of 
them rode astride upon cannons, boasting, in the most horrible 
songs, all the crimes they had themselves committed, or seen others 
commit. Those who were nearest the King's carriage sang ballads, 
the allusions of which, by means of their vulgar gestures, they 
applied to the Queen. Waggons, full of corn and flour, which had 
been brought into Versailles, formed a train escorted by grenadiers, 
and surrounded by women and bullies, some armed with pikes, and 
some carrying long branches of poplar. At some distance this part 
of the procession had a most singular effect : it looked like a 
moving forest, amidst which shone pike-heads and gun-barrels. In 
the paroxysms of their brutal joy, the women stopped passengers, 
and, pointing to the King's carriage, howled in their ears, "Cheer 
up, friends ; we shall no longer be in want of bread : we bring you 
the baker, the baker's wife and the little baker boy." Behind His 
Majesty's carriage were several of his faithful guards, some on foot 
and some on horseback, most of them uncovered, all unarmed, and 
worn out with hunger and fatigue ; the dragoons, the Flanders 
regiment, the hundred Swiss, and the National Guards preceded, 
accompanied or followed the file of carriages. 

I witnessed this heartrending spectacle ; I saw the ominous 
procession. In the midst of all the tumult, clamour and singing, 
interrupted by frequent discharges of musketry, which the hand 
of a monster or a bungler might so easily render fatal, I saw the 
Queen preserving the most courageous tranquillity of soul, and an 
air of nobleness and inexpressible dignity, and my eyes were 
suffused with tears of admiration and grief. 


Note (G), Page 83. 

The termination of this year of crime and misfortune (1790) 
offers but one remarkable event — that of the arrest and the com- 
mencement of the trial of the unfortunate Marquis de Favras. 
This nobleman, whose youth was passed in storms, still preserved 
in his riper age the ardent imagination, the boldness and impru- 
dence which had so often led him astray ; and his loyalty, in taking 
place of all his other passions, had also assumed their character. 
The outrages of the 5th and 6th of October inspired him with the 
most ardent desire to attempt everything to preserve the Royal 
Family from the dangers that threatened them. Consequently he 
was actuated more by zeal than prudence in devising a plan for carry- 
ing off the King. His means of effecting it were to be an army of 
about thirty thousand Royalists, the enrolling and arming of which 
body was to be so secretly managed as not to be known till the 
moment of action. As an enterprise of this nature required con- 
siderable funds, in which point the Marquis de Favras was the most 
deficient, he tried all methods to raise them ; he applied to several 
bankers, and communicated his plan to many of the Royalist party 
whom he thought most likely to afford the necessary assistance, but 
he found it more easy to obtain their praise than any effective 

It happened about the same time that Monsieur the King's 
brother, having been for several months deprived of his revenue 
through different operations of the Assembly, and having consider- 
able payments to make in January, was trying to devise means to 
make good his engagements without applying to the public 
treasury. To accomplish it by a less onerous mode than that 
of borrowing at so critical a period, the Prince conceived the idea 
of giving bills for the amount of the sum required. M. de Favras, 
who had previously served in the Swiss guards of Monsieur, was 
pointed out to him by the Marquis de la Chatre, as very likely to 
effect the negotiation with the bankers Schaumel and Sartorius ; 
His Royal Highness, therefore, signed an obligation for two 
millions, and desired his treasurer to provide for the payment. 

The indiscreet expressions of the numerous confidants of the 
plan of M. de Favras, and the imprudence that he himself fell into, 
in being concerned at one and the same time with the proceedings 
relative to it and those which concerned the negotiation for the two 
millions for Monsieur, excited the attention and uneasiness of the 
Committee of Inquiry. M. and Madame de Favras were arrested 
on the nth of December, in the night, and accused of " conspiring 
against the order of things established by the will of the nation and 
of the King ; of having formed to this effect a plan for introducing 
armed men into the capital during the night, to put to death the 
three principal leaders of the administration ; to attack the King's 
guard, carry off the Great Seal and to conduct Their Majesties 
towards Peronne ; of endeavouring to corrupt several individuals of 
the National Guard, in seducing them from their duty by deceitful 
promises ; of having conferences with several bankers for the 


obtaining of considerable sums, and with other persons for the 
diffusion of this plot throughout different provinces." 

The day after the arrest of M. and Madame de Favras, the 
following bulletin was profusely circulated throughout the capital : 

"The Marquis de Favras, of Place Royale, was arrested, with 
his lady, in the night of the 24th, for having laid a plan to raise 
thirty thousand men; to assassinate M. de la Fayette and the 
mayor of the city, and then to cut off our supplies of provisions. 
Monsieur the King's brother was at the head of this conspiracy. 

(Signed) " Barrauz." 

This public denunciation made against the King's brother, 
speedily aggravated as it was by the comments of the factious and 
the exaggerations of calumny, excited the strongest ferment in the 
capital, not only against that Prince, but also against the King 
himself, who was supposed to have an understanding with his 
brother. A serious catastrophe before long seemed inevitable ; and 
undoubtedly such an event would have taken place if Monsieur, 
who would not have been justified in despising those dangers which 
threatened the Royal Family no less than himself, had not taken 
the only step by which the storm could be averted. That Prince 
went on the 26th of December to the Assembly of the Representa- 
tives of the Commune, and was received by them with all due 
respect and attention. " Gentlemen," said he to them, " I am 
induced to come among you by my desire to repel an atrocious 
piece of calumny. M. de Favras was apprehended yesterday by 
order of your Committee of Enquiry, and to-day a report is indus- 
triously spread that there is a close intimacy between him and 
myself. I think it due to the King, to you and to myself to 
inform you of the only circumstances under which I have any 
acquaintance with M. de Favras." 

After detailing with equal exactness and perspicuity the facts 
attending the bond for two millions as I have given them, Monsieur 
added, "I have not seen M. de Favras, nor have I written to 
him ; I have had no communication whatever with him ; what 
else he has done is perfectly unknown to me. Yet I understood 
that a note signed Barrauz, thus worded (see above), has been 
extensively circulated in the capital. Of course, you do not expect 
that I shall stoop to exculpate myself from the accusation of so 
base a crime," &c. 

This address was warmly and unanimously applauded by the 
Assembly and the galleries. The mayor in his reply expressed the 
feelings of respect and attachment entertained towards Monsieur 
by the Assembly, and the unbounded confidence with which his 
good qualities inspired them. M. de la Fayette rose after M. Bailly, 
and reported that he had directed the apprehension of the authors 
of the note, and that they were at that moment in prison. Monsieur 
requested they might be pardoned, but the Assembly resolved 
that it was necessary they should be tried and punished, The 
Prince likewise thought it right to inform the National Assembly 
of the motive which had induced him to take the step in question ; 
he therefore sent the Assembly a copy of his speech at the Hotel 


de Ville, and subjoined a note announcing that he would send them 
a statement of the debts he intended paying with the two millions 
for which he had subscribed the bond. (" History of the French 
Revolution," by Bertrand de Molleville, vol. ii.) 

Note (H), Page 112. 

The certainty of the departure of Mesdames the King's aunts 
made a great noise in Paris ; the King could not avoid informing 
the Assembly of the event, and he did it in a letter, of which the 
following is the substance : 

" Gentlemen, — Having learned that the National Assembly had 
referred a question arising upon a journey intended by my aunts 
to the committee for matters concerning the Constitution, I think 
it right to inform the Assembly that I was this morning apprised 
of their departure at ten o'clock last night. As I am persuaded 
they could not be deprived of the liberty which everyone possesses 
of going wherever he chooses, I felt that I neither ought to, nor 
could, offer any obstacle to their setting out, although I witness their 
separation from me with much regret. 

(Signed) " Louis." 

Notwithstanding this letter, the two parties which divided the 
Assembly were in the highest state of fermentation when intel- 
ligence was received that Mesdames had been stopped by the 
municipality of Moret. It was at the same time announced that 
they had been liberated by the chasseurs of Lorraine. The heat 
of the debates was increased by this occurrence ; it was known 
that individuals had preceded Mesdames, spreading among the 
people the reports with which the newspapers were filled by the 
conspirators. They were lavish of money, and scattered it by hand- 
fuls among the most brutalised men as most likely to plunge into 
the greatest excesses. Consequently the lives of Mesdames were 
threatened and were in the most imminent danger. One scoundrel, 
who vomited forth insults of the grossest nature against the Prin- 
cesses, talked of lowering the fatal reflector and tying them up to it. 

The money spread about by the persons unknown was not 
furnished by the Duke d'Orleans ; his finances were exhausted at 
that time ; it was English money. The Parliament granted the 
minister all the supplies he asked for, and dispensed with any 
account from him. The object and employment of these funds are 
at this day no longer problematical. 

The Assembly soon received the following ^voces-verbal from 
the municipality of Moret : 

" On the 20th of February, 1791, certain carriages, attended by 
a retinue and escorted in a manner announcing rank, appeared at 
Moret. The municipal officers, who had heard of the departure of 
Mesdames and of the uneasiness it had occasioned in Paris, stopped 
these carriages and would not suffer them to pass until they should 
have exhibited their passports. They produced two ; one from the 
King, and countersigned Montmorin, to go to Rome ; the other was 
not exactly a passport, but a declaration from the municipality of 


Paris, acknowledging that it possessed no right to prevent these 
citoyenncs from travelling in such parts of the kingdom as they 
should think fit. 

" The municipal officers of Moret, on inspection of these two 
passports, between which they think they see some contradiction, 
are disposed to believe that, before they pay any attention to them, 
it is their duty to consult the National Assembly and to await the 
answer of that body with Mesdames ; but while they are hesi- 
tating as to the course they are to pursue, certain chasseurs of the 
regiment of Lorraine come up with arms in their hands, and by 
force open the gates to Mesdames, who proceed on their way." 

The reading of this proces - verbal was hardly ended when 
the ex-director, Rewbell, exhibited an extraordinary degree of sur- 
prise. How could it be imagined that the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs could have signed a passport, when he was well aware that 
their departure had been the ground for a demand of a new decree, 
the plan of which the committee for affairs concerning the Consti- 
tution was busied in drawing up ? As everything was a scandal 
and a reproach in that impious age, the speaker said it was 
scandalous that the chasseurs of Lorraine should have so conducted 
themselves. " If such acts of violence,'" said he, in conclusion, "are 
permitted to remain unpunished, the belief that we have a Constitution is a 
strange illusion ; no, there are no laws, and we live under the dominion of 
the sword.' 1 

He moved that the proces-verbal of the municipality of Moret 
should be referred to the committee of affairs concerning the Con- 
stitution and that of inquiry. 

Rewbell's motion was decreed. 

Being compelled to justify himself, the Minister of War de- 
clared that he had given no orders to the chasseurs of Lorraine ; 
and that, after all, they had done nothing in the affair. The 
decree passed upon Rewbell's motion was supported by the Duke 
d'Aiguillon, and it was found, from M. de Segur 's letter, that they 
were chasseurs of Hagueneau and not chasseurs of Lorraine, who had the 
honour of forming the escort of Mesdames at Fontaineblcau and Moret. 
This letter, which was signed by M. de Segur, was inserted in the 
journals at his own request ; that soldier prided himself upon having 
given the order and been obeyed. M. de Segur in his letter, which 
was read only at a sitting of the 2nd of March, succeeded in con- 
vincing the Assembly of the affected ignorance of the military men 
who formed part of their body. " The ancient ordinances are not 
abrogated," said the colonel of the chasseurs of Hagueneau, and not 
of Lorraine ; " the officer commanding did no more than conform to them, 
and if he did enter the town armed it was but in observance of the custom 
among soldiers to pay that mark of respect to cities." 

Still, M. de Montmorin could not avoid justifying himself ; he 
did it triumphantly by the following letter : 

" M. le President, I have just learnt that upon the reading of 
the proces-verbal, sent by the municipality of Moret, some members 
of the Assembly appeared astonished at my having countersigned 
the passport given to Mesdames by the King. 

" If this circumstance requires explanation, I entreat the As- 


sembly to reflect that the opinion of the King and his ministers 
upon the point is sufficiently well known. This passport would be 
a permission to quit the kingdom if any law forbade the passing of 
its limits ; but no such law ever existed. Down to the present 
moment a passport is to be looked upon as merely an attestation of 
the quality of the persons who bear it. 

' ' In this light it was impossible to refuse one to Mesdames ; either 
their journey was to be opposed, or the inconveniences of it, among 
which it was impossible not to reckon their arrestation by a munici- 
pality to which they were unknown, were to be prevented. 

" There were ancient laws against emigration ; they had fallen 
into disuse, and the principles of liberty established by the decrees 
of the Assembly had wholly abrogated them. To refuse a passport 
to Mesdames, if a document of that description had been considered 
a real permission, would have been not only to outstrip, but actually 
to make law. To grant the passport when, without conferring any 
additional right, it might prevent disturbances could be conceived as 
nothing more than an act of prudence. 

" These, sir, are the grounds upon which I countersigned the 
passports granted to Mesdames ; I request you will have the kind- 
ness to communicate them to the Assembly. I shall always eagerly 
avail myself of all opportunities of explaining my conduct ; and I 
shall always rely with the utmost confidence upon the justice of the 

The fate of Mesdames depended on the resolution to which the 
National Assembly was about to come ; the two parties were ready 
and well prepared. The Abbe Maury, who owes the reputation of 
being at the head of Catholicism to real merit, was eager for the 
honour of being the first to speak. He eulogised the principles of 
good order, without which no Government can subsist, and conse- 
quently there can be neither peace nor prosperity for the people. 

Several orators spoke, and all of them acknowledged that there 
was no law which forbade the departure of Mesdames. The dis- 
cussion was so managed that the party of the faction looked upon 
the order of the day, the disapproval of the act of the commune of 
Arnay-le-Duc, as a triumph ; but an obscure member, remarkable 
only for his gigantic form and his strength of voice, rose and roared 
out : " You insist that no law exists, and I maintain that a law does 
exist — it is the safety of the people." 

General Menou put an end to the debate by one of those caustic 
observations which seldom fail to take effect when they are happily 
introduced, that is to say, when the multitude begin to be tired by 
the discussion. " Europe," said he " will be greatly astonished, no 
doubt, on hearing that the National Assembly spent four hours in 
deliberating upon the departure of two ladies who preferred hearing 
Mass at Rome rather than at Paris." 

The debate was thus terminated, and the decree was con- 
formable to the opinion of Mirabeau, who had, moreover, the 
honour of carrying his form of it, which was as follows : 

" The National Assembly, inasmuch as there exists no law of 
the realm to forbid the free journeying of Mesdames the King's 
aunts, declares that there is no ground for questioning it, and refers 


the matter to the executive power." (Montigny's " Memoirs of 
Mesdames," vol. i.) 

All particulars relating to the abode of Mesdames at Rome, 
Naples and, lastly, in Poland, will be found in these Memoirs. 

Note (J), Page 150. 

M. de Laporte, to whom I had some time previously communi- 
cated my opinion on the subject of the tribunes or galleries, told me 
that in the course of eight or nine months the King had been 
induced to spend more than 2,500,000 livres upon the tribunes 
alone; and that they had all along been for the Jacobins; that in 
truth the persons to whom the operation had been entrusted and 
to whom the money was delivered were violently suspected of 
having diverted a considerable part, and, perhaps, the whole of 
it, to their own purposes ; but that this inconvenience was un- 
avoidable in an expenditure of that sort, which, from the nature 
of it, was not susceptible of any control or check whatever ; and 
that this consideration had determined the King to discontinue 
it at once. 

I will not insist, as a certain fact, that the two chief undertakers 

of this service (Messieurs T and S ) did really apply the 

fund committed to them to their own use, although it was a matter 
of public notoriety that since their being entrusted with it one of 
them made purchases to the extent of from 1,200,000 to 1,500,000 
livres, and the other to the extent of from 700,000 to 800,000 livres ; 
but I have no hesitation in asserting and believing that they can 
only rebut the reproach of signal knavery by proving that they 
managed the operation with a want of skill and a degree of negli- 
gence almost equally culpable, for nothing was more easy than to 
secure the tribunes by paying them. I had made the experiment 
once only during my administration, but then I was completely 
successful. It was on the day on which I was to make in the 
Assembly my full reply to the denunciations which had been made 
against me. I was informed two days beforehand by my spies 
that the secret committee of the Jacobins had determined on that 
day to augment the number of their hirelings in the tribunes, to 
insure my being hooted. I immediately sent for one of the victors 
of the Bastille, to whom I had, before the Revolution, rendered 
some important services, who was entirely devoted to me, and who 
was a man of great weight in the Faubourg St. Antoine. Him I 
directed to select from among the working-men of the faubourg two 
hundred athletic men on whom he could rely, and to take them the 
next day to the Assembly, at six o'clock in the morning, in order 
that they might be the first there before the opening of the 
Chamber, and so fill the front places in the tribunes at the two 
ends of the Chamber ; and to give them no other order than merely 
to applaud or hoot according to a signal which was agreed on. 

This manoeuvre was as successful as I could wish. My speech 
was repeatedly interrupted by applause, which was doubled when 
I ceased speaking. The Jacobins were thunderstruck at this, and 
could not at all understand it. I was a quarter of an hour after- 


wards still in the Assembly, as well as all the ministers who had 
made it their duty to attend me on the emergency in question ; 
when the Abbe Fauchet rose to notice a fact which he declared to 
be of great importance : "I have this moment," said he, " received 
a letter informing me that a considerable proportion of the citizens 
in the tribunes have been paid to applaud the Minister of Marine." 

Although this was true enough, my unaltered countenance and 
the reputation of the Abbe Fauchet, who was known to be an un- 
blushing liar, turned his denunciation into ridicule, and it was con- 
sidered the more misplaced, inasmuch as it was nothing unusual 
to hear my speeches applauded by the tribunes. True it is that I 
had always taken care to introduce into them some of those phrases, 
or rather words, which the people never failed to applaud, mechani- 
cally, when they were uttered with a certain emphasis, without 
troubling themselves to examine the sense in which they were used. 

The Abbe Fauchet had scarcely finished making his denuncia- 
tion when it was stifled by the almost general murmur which 
proceeded from both sides of the Chamber, and by the hootings 
of the tribunes pursuant to signal. This victory, gained in the 
tribunes over the Jacobins, cost me no more than 270. livres in 
assignats, because a considerable number of my champions, out of 
regard for the leader, would receive nothing more from him than a 
glass of brandy. 

I gave the King all these particulars in my reply to His 
Majesty's later notes, and I again entreated him to permit me to 
make a second experiment upon the tribunes for one single week 
only, upon a plan which I annexed to my letter, and the expense of 
which did not exceed 800 livres per diem. 

This plan consisted in filling the front rows of the two 
tribunes with 262 trusty fellows, whose pay was fixed at the 
following rates; 

Livres per diem. 

1. To a leader, who alone was in the secret . . 50 

2. To a sub-leader, chosen by the former . . 25 

3. To ten assistants, selected by the leader and 
sub-leader, having no knowledge of each other, and 
each deputed to recruit twenty-five men and take them 
daily to the Assembly, 10 livres apiece ; total . . 100 

4. To two hundred and fifty men, each 50 sous a 

day ; total 625 

Total . . . 800 livres. 

The leader and sub-leader were to be placed, one in the middle 
of the front tribune, and the other in the same situation in the 
other tribune. Each of them was known only to the five assistants 
whom he had under his orders in the tribune in which he took his 
seat. The sub-leader received his directions by a signal concerted 
between themselves alone. They had a second signal for the 
purpose of passing the order to the assistants, each of whom again 
transmitted it to his twenty-five men by a third signal. All of 


them, with the exception of the leader and sub-leader, were to be 
engaged in the name of Petion, for the support of the Constitution 
against the aristocrats and Republicans. Each assistant was to 
pay his own recruits, and was to receive the funds from the leader 
or the sub-leader, in proportion to the number of men he brought 
with him. 

The leader was alone to correspond with a friend of a captain 
of the King's constitutional guard named Piquet, a man of true 
courage and entirely devoted to His Majesty's service. This 
captain was to receive from me daily the funds necessary for the 
expenditure of the day following, with directions for the conduct 
of the tribunes according to what had passed on the day preceding. 
He was to communicate the whole to his friend, who in his turn 
was to instruct the leader of the operation. By means of these 
various sub-divisions, this manoeuvre might get wind by treachery 
or otherwise without any serious inconvenience resulting from it, 
because it cut off the possibility of all ultimate discovery and pre- 
vented inquiries from being directed to me. Nothing more was 
necessary than to remove any one of the persons intermediately 
employed. Besides, in order as far as possible to watch the fidelity 
of the agents of this enterprise, and in some measure to keep a 
check upon this expense, I had agreed with Buob, a justice of the 
peace, that he should daily send five of his runners, whose salary 
I was to pay him, into each of the tribunes to see what was going 
forward there, especially in the front rows ; to calculate, as exactly 
as they could, the number of persons shouting or applauding, and 
give him an account accordingly. We had not neglected to. apprise 
the assistants that this inspection was regularly made by agents of 

The King returned me this plan, after reflecting upon it for 
four-and-twenty hours, and authorised me to try it in the course 
of the following week. This was the result of it : 

The first and second days our people contented themselves 
with silencing the tribunes ; that is to say, with silencing all marks 
of disapprobation and applause, under pretence of hearing better, 
and that of itself was one great point gained. 

On the third day they began slightly to applaud constitutional 
motions and opinions, and continued to prevent contrary motions 
and opinions from being heard. 

On the fourth day the same line of conduct was continued, 
only the applause was warmer and longer persevered in. The 
Assembly could not make it out. Several of the members looked 
towards the tribunes frequently and with attention, and made 
themselves easy on seeing them filled with individuals whose 
appearance and dress were as usual. 

On the fifth day the marks of applause became stronger, and 
they began to murmur a little against anti-constitutional motions 
and remarks. At this the Assembly appeared somewhat discon- 
certed ; but one of the adjutants, on being interrogated by a deputy, 
replying that he was for the Constitution and for Petion, it was 
supposed that the disapprobation which had been heard was the 
effect of some mistake. 


On the sixth day the sounds of approbation and of the contrary 
feeling were still conducted in the same way, but with a degree of 
violence considerable enough to give offence to the Assembly. A 
motion was made against the tribunes, who repelled it by the most 
violent clamours, insults and threats. Some of the men employed 
carried their audacity so far as to raise their sticks as if to strike the 
deputies who were near them, and repeated over and over again 
that the Assembly consisted of a pack of beggars who ought to be 
knocked on the head. The president, being of opinion, no doubt, 
that it was not quite prudent to wait till the majority of those who 
filled the tribunes should declare themselves of that opinion, broke 
up the sitting. 

As the members of the Assembly quitted the hall, several of 
the deputies accosted a considerable number of individuals coming 
down from the tribunes, and by dint of questions and cajolery drew 
from them that they were employed by Petion. They immediately 
went to complain to him on the subject, under a conviction that he 
had been deceived in the choice of his men ; that he would not 
approve of their conduct and would dismiss them. 

Petion, who as yet knew nothing of what had been going 
forward in the Assembly, swore, and certainly swore truly, that he 
had no hand in it, and that he had not sent anybody to the tribunes 
for a long time. He insisted that it was a manoeuvre of his enemies, 
and promised to leave no stone unturned to find out its authors. I 
was, in fact, informed that in the evening several of his emissaries 
had been all over the faubourgs, and had questioned a great many 
working-men, but fortunately all these enquiries ended in nothing. 

The' letter which I addressed to the King every morning in- 
formed him of the orders I had issued for the next day with regard 
to the management of the tribunes ; and as he had always some 
confidential person at the Assembly, in order that he might be 
accurately informed of what was going forward there, he was 
enabled to judge how faithfully and with what success the directions 
I gave were executed ; and consequently His Majesty, in almost all 
his answers to the letters of that week, observed, " 'The tribunes 
go on well ' — ' still well ' — ' better and better ' — ' admirable,' " But 
the scene of violence of the Saturday gave him some uneasiness. 

On the following day, when I made my appearance at the levee, 
Their Majesties and Madame Elizabeth eyed me in the most 
gracious and satisfied manner. After Mass the King, as he was re- 
entering the room, passing close by me, said, without turning and 
low enough to be heard by nobody but myself, " Very well — only 
too rapidly — I will write to you." In fact, in the letter which the 
King returned to me on the same day with his answer, he observed 
that " the experiment had succeeded beyond his hopes, but that it 
would be dangerous to pursue it, especially to myself ; that this 
resource ought to be reserved for a time of need, and that he would 
apprise me when that time arrived." ("Private Memoirs for the 
History, &c," by Bertrand de Molleville, vol. ii.) 


Note (K), Page 207. 

Historical Narrative of the Transactions at the Chateau of the Tuileries, 
during the night of the 9th and 10th of August, 1792, and on the 
morning of the 10th. 

Before my return into the Chateau I visited the hall of the 
department. I saw the Attorney-General. The authorities of the 
department were to remain assembled the whole night. The 
Attorney-General offered to pass it himself in the Chateau if the 
King thought it necessary. The King manifested a wish that it 
should be so. I immediately informed M. Roederer, and that 
magistrate instantly proceeded to the King. It was then near 

About one in the morning, the tocsin not having begun to 
sound until after the Mayor had quitted the King, His Majesty 
desired me to inform M. Petion of it, and to communicate to him 
his wish that the gates of the terrace called Des Feuillans should 
be closed. The terrace had been declared to form a part of the 
area of the National Assembly. That body alone could dispose of 
it. Therefore, in communicating the King's wish, I pressed M. 
Petion to demand what he required of the National Assembly. The 
Mayor could do this with the more propriety because the tocsin 
had sounded and the generate been beaten. It was certain the 
meeting was assembling, and that the National Assembly had re- 
called the Mayor to their bar full three-quarters of an hour. 

M. Petion heard the King's observations. He felt the force of 
them. Even before he went to the National Assembly he caused 
the gate which commands the riding-house yard to be shut ; the 
Swiss received a verbal order for it in the presence of all the 
municipal officers and of several grenadiers who were with the 
Mayor. I owe this homage to truth. One grenadier suffered him- 
self at this moment to pass the bounds of decorum. His warmth 
of feeling got the better of his obedience. 

" Mr. Mayor," said he, "we see with the liveliest satisfaction, 
with a respectful gratitude, that" your zeal always gets the better of 
the malevolence of your enemies ; that you are in all places where 
you can usefully serve the country ; but that is not enough. Why 
do you suffer these partial assemblages in Paris which will gradually 
bring on general ones ? Why do you suffer yourself to be ruled by 
factious men who will .ruin us ? Why, for instance, is the Sieur 
Santerre always with you, always out of the reach of the law ? 
Why is he at this moment at the Hotel de Ville ? Mr. Mayor, you 
are answerable for the public tranquillity, for the preservation of 
our property — you— — ' ' 

To these words, uttered with great volubility and heard by 
the Mayor, he answered vaguely, " What does this mean, sir ? 
You lose sight of respect ; you forget yourself. Come, let us un- 
derstand each other." Upon this, almost the whole of the National 
Guards surrounded the Mayor, silenced the grenadier, and forced 
him to withdraw ; and the Mayor went to the National Assembly. 


He there gave the explanations required of him, but said nothing 
about the terrace of the Feuillans. 

The moment afterwards M. Petion returned to the garden and 
proceeded to the terrace. I saw him walking there in the midst 
of the same group, accompanied by the same municipal officers, and 
by a still greater number of National Guards. 

I am a witness that the commandant de bataillon accosted the 
Mayor opposite the principal gate of the castle and told him every- 
thing was quiet and that there was nothing to fear ; that the 
commissioners of the sections, who had met at the Faubourg St. 
Antoine, had separated and adjourned to Friday morning early, at 
the Hotel de Ville, with the intention of coming to a final resolution; 
but that until that time there was no ground for apprehension. 

This intelligence was too agreeable not to be seized with eager- 
ness. The Mayor approved of it, and announced that he should soon 
retire. However, several persons pointed out to him that the account 
of the commandant de bataillon might be true, and still the danger, 
might be very great. 

It has been observed that the commandant came from the 
section of the Croix-Rouge ; that the commissioners spoken of had 
separated at eleven o'clock ; that since, and notwithstanding their 
pretended resolution, the tocsin had been sounded and the alarm-gun 
had been fired, that the assemblage had taken place, and that every- 
thing seemed to announce that the people would put themselves in 
march about five o'clock in the morning. 

The Queen renewed her observations ; the King remained mute. 
Nobody spoke. It was reserved to me to give the last piece of 
advice. I had the firmness to say, " Let us go, and not deliberate ; 
honour commands it ; the good of the State requires it. Let us go 
to the National Assembly ; this step ought to have been taken long 

" Come," said the King, raising his right hand; " let us go; let 
us give this last mark of self-devotion, since it is necessary." 

The Queen was persuaded ; her first anxiety was for the King, 
the second for her son. The King had none. 

" M. Roederer, — gentlemen," said the Queen, " you answer for 
the person of the King ; you answer for that of my son." 

" Madam," replied M. Roederer, " we pledge ourselves to die at 
your side ; that is all we can engage for." (" History of Marie 
Antoinette," by Montjoie.) 

Note (M), Page 314. 

Louis XVI. was much pleased with his first conversation with 
Count Maurepas, who endeavoured to interest him by relating to 
him sentimental anecdotes respecting the Dauphin his father, for 
whom Louis XVI. entertained the most profound veneration. 
Maurepas confirmed the King in the belief that the Duke de 
Choiseul had hastened the death of the late Dauphin, and always 
supported him in the resolution of perpetually banishing the Duke 
from Court, and particularly from the administration. He repre- 
sented the Duke de Choiseul, both in manuscript memoirs and 


in his private conversations, as prodigal of the public money, 
and as having, for the sake of establishing for himself in France 
a party too powerful to be attacked, granted a multitude of un- 
merited pensions to the amount of twelve millions and upwards 
on persons who had no other claims than the protection of the 
House of Choiseul. 

Maurepas once had a statement drawn up of the favours 
granted to all the Houses which bore the name of Choiseul, and 
demonstrated that no family in France cost one-fourth of what was 
absorbed by the family of this minister. Thus, as fast as the Queen 
pressed Louis XVI. to recall Choiseul to Court, Maurepas was 
labouring, on the contrary, to make him an object of detestation 
to the Prince. His hatred of M. de Choiseul had raised him to 
office, and the same sentiments preserved him his place. Hence 
arose the first displeasure of Marie Antoinette against M. de 
Maurepas. She had determined to leave no means untried for 
recalling to France the friend of her family and the contriver of 
her marriage. 

The other ministers pursuing the same object as Maurepas, 
the latter dexterously employed the Abbe Terray to blacken the 
character of the Duke de' Choiseul previous to his driving him 
from the administration of the finances. After Abbe Terray, 
Turgot, who entertained the same opinion of the Duke, continued 
to calumniate him in his private conversations and official inter- 
course with the King. The Chancellor Maupeou, who had wronged 
the Duke in part of his machinations against him, joined this party. 
They went so far as to assert that Marie Antoinette was daughter of 
the Duke de Choiseul, and to calculate the days and months of 
Maria Theresa's pregnancy. The period of the Duke de Choiseul's 
embassy to Vienna was alluded to in order to give some appear- 
ance of probability to this report, which dates alone were sufficient 
to refute. Vergennes found himself in hostility to the Austrian 
diplomacy. La Vrilliere, who had executed the King's orders in 
exiling him to Chanteloup, after having intrigued with D'Aiguillon 
and Madame du Barry, did all that a man who had lost his credit 
and consideration could do to injure the Duke de Choiseul. In 
the Royal Family this was also a leading object with the King's 
three aunts. Thus, on whatever side Louis XVI. looked, he saw 
only implacable enemies to the Duke de Choiseul, with the excep- 
tion of the Queen, who was enraged to find such general opposition 
to her early inclinations. (" Historical and Political Memoirs of 
the Reign of Louis XVI.," by Soulavie, vol. ii.) 

Note (N), in addition to note at page 314. 

M. de Vergennes, President of the Council of Finance — a place 
more lucrative and honourable than important in the Ministry — no 
sooner heard of the existence of a secret deficit, which M. de 
Calonne raised to the amount of one hundred millions, than 
he foresaw the protestations, violent discussions and resentment 
which would take place throughout France when the fatal moment 
of manifesting this State wound, in order to cure it, should 

VOL. II 26 


arrive. He foresaw, long beforehand, the advantage which England 
would take of our situation. France, having surprised England 
in the cruel embarrassment of her colonial insurrections, had 
made a Sovereign people of a body of rebels. What might not 
England do in the interior of France when every order of 
the State should rise in insurrection against a deficit of one 
hundred millions occasioned by an extravagant Court, which 
the proceedings about the necklace had vilified and debased ? 
M. Necker, in an official account, had assured the public five 
years before, that the receipts exceeded the expenditure by 
several millions, and now M. de Calonne found a deficit of one 
hundred millions. To what was this deficit to be attributed ? 
To the last five years ? The Court could not be thus accused 
without disgracing it. To the preceding period ? The great 
reputation of M. Necker could not be thus attacked. What great 
advantages England might take of this dilemma ! 

Such were the circumstances under which it was recol- 
lected that France and England had, towards the end of 1783, 
engaged to negotiate a treaty. M. de Calonne and M. de Ver- 
gennes combined to render it favourable to the British nation, 
and our manufactures were sacrificed by their calculation. In 
the course of the twelve years fixed as the duration of this 
treaty, England was to enjoy immense advantages, and repair 
her own finances. This treaty, which excited universal alarm, 
was signed on the 20th of September, 1786, under the adminis- 
tration of Mr. Pitt, who had defeated Mr. Fox, then recently 
retired from the Ministry; and the resolution to convoke the 
Notables was entered into in Council, at Versailles, on the 29th 
of December following. 

I shall not enter into the particulars of the censure which 
the nation passed on this treaty ; it no longer exists. I shall 
only observe that the English merchants, to introduce a taste for 
their goods — their earthenware, for instance — carried their specu- 
lations to such a height as to furnish them at less than their 
value at long credits. We have seen the English pottery be- 
come, in the course of a month, quite the fashion at the most 
distinguished tables ; we have all witnessed the bankruptcy of 
several interesting French manufactures. (" Historical Memoirs 
of the Reign of Louis XVI.," by Soulavie, vol. vi.) 

Note (O), Page 325. 

The King having purchased the Chateau de Rambouillet 
from the Duke de Penthievre, amused himself with embellishing 
this mansion. I have seen a register, entirely in his own hand- 
writing, which proves that he possessed a great variety of in- 
formation on the minutiae of various branches of knowledge. In 
his accounts he would not omit an article of twelve pence. The 
figures and letters of his handwriting, when he wished to write 
legibly, are small and very neat ; the letters are well formed ; 
but, in general, he wrote very badly. He was so sparing of 
writing-paper that he divided a sheet into eight, six or four pieces, 


according to the length of what he had to write. Whilst he was 
writing he seemed to avoid all waste of paper, and towards the 
close of the page he compressed the letters and made no inter- 
lineations. The last words were close to the bottom, and to the 
edge of the paper ; he seemingly regretted being obliged to begin 
another page. His genius was methodical and analytical ; he 
divided what he wrote into chapters and sections. He had 
extracted from the works of Nicole and Fenelon, his favourite 
authors, three or four hundred concise and sententious phrases : 
these he had classed according to the order of the subjects, and 
formed a second work of them, in the taste and manner of 
Montesquieu. To this treatise he had given the following 
general title : "Of Moderate Monarchy," « with chapters en- 
titled, "Of the Person of the Prince"; "Of the Authority of 
Bodies in the State"; "Of the Character of the Executive 
Functions of the Monarchy." Had he been able to carry into 
effect all the beautiful and grand things he had observed in 
Fenelon, Louis XVI. would have been an accomplished monarch, 
and France a powerful kingdom. 

The King used to accept from his ministers the speeches 
which they presented to him to deliver on important occasions ; 
but he corrected and modified them ; struck out some parts, and 
added others ; and sometimes even consulted his consort on the 

In these endeavours it is easy to see that he sought appro- 
priate expressions, and with success. The phrase of the minister 
erased by the King was frequently unsuitable, and dictated by 
the minister's private feelings ; but the King's was always the 
natural expression. One might have said, none but a King could 
have hit on these expressions, they were so peculiarly apposite. 
He himself composed, three times or oftener, his famous answers 
to the Parliament which he banished. But in his familiar letters 
he was negligent and always incorrect. 

Simplicity of expression was the characteristic of the King's 
style ; the figurative style of M. Necker did not please him ; the 
sarcasms of Maurepas were disagreeable to him. In that multi- 
tude of speculations, which fill a paper of projects, the following 
remark appears in his handwriting: "That is good for nothing"; 
in others he foresaw the future. Unfortunate Prince ! he would 
predict in his observations that if such a calamity should hap- 
pen the monarchy would be ruined ; and the next day he 
would consent in Council to the very operation which he had 
condemned the day before, and which brought him nearer the 
brink of the precipice. ("Historical and Political Memoirs of 
the Reign of Louis XVI.," by Soulavie, vol. ii.) 

Note (V), Page 285. 

"When the news of the attempt made against the King's life 
became publicly known, the populace evinced the greatest rage and 

1 De la Monarchie temperde. 


despair. They assembled under the windows of Madame de Pom- 
padour, uttering threatening cries. She began to dread the fate of 
Madame de Chateauroux. Her friends every moment came in to 
bring her intelligence. Many only came out of curiosity to see how 
she behaved. She did nothing but weep and faint by turns. Dr. 
Quesnay saw the King five or six times a day. " There is nothing 
to fear," said he, "if it were any other person he might go to a 
ball." I told Madame that the Keeper of the Seals had had an 
interview with the King, from which he had returned to his own 
residence, followed by a crowd of people. " And that is a friend," 
said she, bursting into tears. The Abbe Bernis said this was not a 
time to form a precipitate judgment of him. Half an hour after- 
wards I returned into the drawing-room ; the Keeper of the Seals 
came in. " How is Madame de Pompadour? " said he, with a cold 
and severe air. " As you may easily imagine," I replied ; and he 
entered her apartment, where he remained half an hour alone 
with her. At length she rang ; I went in, followed by the Abbe 
Bernis. " I must go, my dear abbe," said she. She gave orders 
for all her domestics to be ready to set out. To several ladies, who 
came to condole with her, she compared the conduct of M. de 
Machault, the Keeper of the Seals, with that of the Duke de 
Richelieu at Metz. " He believes, or pretends to believe," said 
she, " that the priests will require me to be sent away with 
disgrace ; but Quesnay and all the physicians say there is not 
the slightest danger." 

Madame de Mirepoix came in, crying out, " What are all these 
trunks for, madam ? Your servants say you are leaving us." 
" Alas, my dear friend, such is the will of the master ; at least, so 
says M. de Machault." " And what is his advice ? " " To set out 
immediately." " He wishes to be master himself," said Madame 
de Mirepoix, " and he is betraying you. Whoever leaves the game 
loses it." 

M. de Marigny afterwards told me that an appearance of an 
intended departure would be kept up to avoid irritating the enemies 
of Madame ; that the little Marechal (Madame de Mirepoix) had 
decided the matter ; and that the Keeper of the Seals would be the 
sufferer. Quesnay came in and, with his usual grimaces, related a 
fable of a fox who, being at dinner with other animals, persuaded 
one of them that his enemies were seeking him, and, having 
induced him to withdraw, devoured his share in his absence. I 
did not see Madame until much later, when she was going to bed. 
She was more calm; affairs were improving. Machault, that faith- 
less friend, was dismissed. The King came as usual to Madame. 
A few days afterwards Madame paid a visit to M. d'Argenson. She 
returned much out of temper, and the King shortly afterwards 
arrived. I heard Madame sobbing. The Abbe Bernis came to me 
and desired me to carry her some Hoffman's drops. The King 
himself prepared the potion with some sugar, and presented it to 
her with the most gracious air. She smiled and kissed his hands. 
I withdrew, and the next day heard of the exile of M. d'Argenson. 
He was much to blame ; and this was the greatest stretch of 
Madame's influence. The King was very much attached to M. 


d'Argenson, and the war by sea and land rendered it very 
impolitic to discard these two ministers. (" Journal of Madame 
de Hausset.") 

Note (W), Page 290. 

Madame one day called me into her cabinet, where the King 
was walking up and down, with a very serious air. " You must," 
said she, " go and pass a few days in the avenue of St. Cloud, at a 
house which will be pointed out to you, where you will find a 
young lady ready to lie in. Like one of the goddesses of the poets, 
you will preside at the birth. The object of your mission is, that 
everything may take place according to the King's wishes, and 
secretly. You will be present at the christening, and give the 
names of the father and mother." The King began to laugh, 
and said, "The father is a very worthy man." Madame added, 
"Beloved by everybody; and adored by all who are acquainted 
with him." Madame went to a drawer and took out a little casket, 
which she opened, and produced a diamond aigrette, saying to the 
King, " I had reasons for not getting a finer one." "It is too hand- 
some, as it is," said the King, embracing Madame ; " how kind you 
are!" She shed tears of emotion, and placing her hand on the 
King's heart, said, " It is there that my wishes are centred." Tears 
now came into the King's eyes also ; nor could I refrain from 
crying, though I scarcely knew why. The King then said to me, 
" Guimard will see you every day to advise and assist you, and at 
the critical moment you will send for him. But we have said 
nothing about the godfather and godmother. You are to announce 
them as if they were coming ; and an instant afterwards you will 
pretend to receive a letter informing you that they cannot come. 
You will then feign not to know what to do, and Guimard will 
say, ' The best way is to have anybody you can get.' You will then 
take the servant of the house and some pauper or chair-man, and 
give them only twelve francs, to avoid attracting notice." " A 
louis," interrupted Madame, " that you may not make mischief in 
another way." 

When the King was gone Madame said to me, " Well, what 
do you think of my part in this affair ? " " It is that of a superior 
woman and an excellent friend," said I. " It is his heart that I 
wish to possess," answered she; "and none of these little 
uneducated girls will deprive me of that. I should not be so 
tranquil if some beautiful woman of the Court were to attempt 
the conquest." I asked Madame whether the young lady knew 
that the father of the child was the King. " I do not think so," 
said she, " but as he seemed to love this one, it is thought that 
there has been too much readiness to let her know it. Were it not 
for that, it was to have been insinuated to the world that the father 
was a Polish nobleman, related to the Queen, and that he had 
apartments in the Chateau." 

After receiving some additional instructions, I went to the 
avenue of St. Cloud, where I found the abbess, and Guimard, a 
servant belonging to the Chateau, with a nurse and assistant, two 
old domestics, and a girl half housemaid, half femme de chambre. 


The young lady was extremely pretty, and elegantly dressed, but 
had nothing very striking in her appearance. I supped with her 
and the gouvernante, called Madame Bertrand. I gave the lady the 
aigrette, which delighted her wonderfully. The next day I had a 
private conversation with her, when she asked me, " How is the 
Count (meaning the King) ? He will be very sorry that he cannot 
be with me, but he has been obliged to take a long journey." I 
assented. "He is a very handsome man," continued she, "and 
loves me with all his heart ; he has promised me an annuity, but I 
love him disinterestedly, and, if he would take me, I would go with 
him." She afterwards talked of her parents. " My mother," 
she said, "kept a large druggist's shop ; and my father belonged to 
the six companies, and everyone knows there is nothing better than 
that ; he was twice very near being sheriff." 

Six days afterwards she was delivered of a boy, but was 
told, according to my instructions, that it was a girl, and, soon 
afterwards, that it was dead, in order that no trace of its 
existence might remain for a certain period, after which it was 
to be restored to its mother. The King gave ten or twelve 
thousand francs a year to each of his natural children, and they 
inherited from one another. Seven or eight had already died. 
When I returned Madame asked me many questions. "The 
King," said she, "is disgusted with his Princess, and I fancy he 
will set out for Poland in two days." "And what will become 
of the young lady ? " said I. " She will be married to some 
country gentleman," she said, " and will have, perhaps, a fortune of 
forty thousand crowns or so, and a few diamonds." This little 
adventure, which thus placed me in the King's confidence, far 
from procuring me marks of his kindness, seemed to make him 
behave more coolly towards me ; for he was ashamed that I 
should be acquainted with his low amours. He was also em- 
barrassed about the little services which Madame rendered him. 
("Journal of Madame de Hausset.") 

Amongst the young ladies of very tender age, with whom 
the King amused himself during the influence of Madame de Pom- 
padour or afterwards, there was also a Mademoiselle de Tiercelin, 
whom His Majesty ordered to take the name of Bonneval the 
very day she was presented to him. The King was the first 
who perceived this child, when not above nine years old, in the 
care of a nurse, in the garden of the Tuileries. one day when he 
went in state to his " good city of Paris," and having in the 
evening spoken of her beauty to Le Bel, the servant applied to 
M, de Sartine, who traced her out and bought her of the nurse 
for a few louis. She was daughter of M. de Tiercelin, a man of 
quality, who could not patiently endure an affront of this nature. 
He was, however, compelled to be silent, He was told his child 
was lost and that it would be best for him to submit to the 
sacrifice, unless he wished to lose his liberty also. 

Mademoiselle de Tiercelin, now become Madame de Bonneval, 
was introduced under that name into the little apartments at 
Versailles by the King's desire. She was naturally very wild, 
and did not like His Majesty. "You are an ugly man," said 


she, throwing the jewels and diamonds, which the King had 
given her, out of the window. The Duke de Choiseul had the 
weakness to be jealous of this child and her father, who were 
equally harmless. He was told that the King of Prussia, being 
tired of Madame de Pompadour, was secretly labouring to get 
Mademoiselle de Tiercelin declared the King's mistress, the King 
certainly doted on her. The minister was assured that M. de 
Tiercelin was engaged in most extensive operations for effecting 
the object of this foreign intrigue. The father and daughter were, 
in consequence, separately confined in the Bastille. ("Anecdotes 
of the Reign of Louis XV.," by Soulavie.) 

Note (X), Page 298. 

The Dauphin, son of Louis XV., had for several years 
superintended the education of his three children, the Duke de 
Berri, afterwards Louis XVI., the Count de Provence and the 
Count d'Artois. 

The deportment of the Duke de Berri was austere, severe, re- 
served and often rough ; he had no taste for play, exhibitions or 
amusements. He was a youth of inviolable veracity, constantly 
employing himself, at first, in copying and afterwards in com- 
posing geographical maps and in filing iron. His father had 
shown a predilection for him, which excited the jealousy of his 
brothers. Madame Adelaide, who tenderly loved him, used to 
say, in order to encourage him and overcome his timidity : 
" Speak out freely, Berri; shout scold, make an uproar, like your 
brother d'Artois ; knock down my china and break it, make 
some noise in the world." The young Duke de Berri only 
became the more silent, and could not lay aside his natural 
character. (" Historical and Political Memoirs of the Reign of 
Louis XVI.," by Soulavie, vol. ii.) 






Campan, Jeanne Louise 
Henriette Genest (Madame) 

Memoirs of the court of 
Marie Antoinette 

JIOT WA»rrr^ tv pi